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JCI early table of contents for June 24, 2013
Date:6/24/2013

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AUTHOR CONTACT: Janos Peti-Peterdi
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Phone: 323-442-4337; E-mail: petipete@usc.edu

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/68095?key=c031dab289e762e8a011


Targeting melanoma with modified dendritic cells

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Scott Pruitt at Duke University and Merck Research Laboratories report on a human clinical trial in which modified dendritic cells, a component of the immune system, were tested in patients with melanoma. All cells express a complex known as the proteasome, which acts as the garbage disposal for the cell. There are two types of proteasomes: constitutive proteasomes (cPs), which are found in normal tissues, and immunoproteasomes (iPs), which are found in stressed or damaged cells. In a damaged cell, the iP generates protein fragments that are displayed on the surface of the distressed cells, triggering recognition by dendritic cells and subsequent destruction by the immune system. Most cancers, including melanoma, exclusively express cPs, making it impossible for them to express the protein fragments that are recognized by the immune system. To make it easier for the immune system to find cancer cells, Pruitt and colleagues engineered a specific type of immune cell, known as a dendritic cell, that recognizes protein fragments of cancer specific antigens made by cPs. The engineered dendritic cells were then injected into patients that were in remission from melanoma. The trial consisted of 4 patients that were vaccinated with regular dendritic cells, 3 patients that received cells that underwent a control treatment, and 5 patients that received dendritic cells that recognized cancer-made protein fragments. Vaccination w
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Contact: Jillian Hurst
press_releases@the-jci.org
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Source:Eurekalert

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