Navigation Links
New target for cancer therapy may improve treatment for solid tumors

Targeting and killing the non-malignant cells that surround and support a cancer can stop tumor growth in mice, reports a research team based at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the March 1, 2008, issue of the journal Cancer Research. The discovery offers a new approach to treating cancers that are resistant to standard therapy.

Many solid tumors develop elaborate mechanisms to prevent recognition and elimination by the immune system. Due to their genetic instability they often discard the tumor antigen-presenting cell-surface structures that alert the immune system that these cells are harmful. Without these flags, the white blood cells fail to recognize and kill infected or cancerous cells. These tumors then often grow rapidly and resist treatment with chemotherapy or efforts to boost the immune system's response to the tumor.

But the stroma, the layers of cells that surround a tumor, can accumulate tumor antigens and present them on their surface. These genetically stable surrounding cells retain the molecules that present tumor antigens, which makes them a good target for immunotherapy, and they often play an enabling role in tumor growth.

We already knew that targeting the stroma is essential for eradicating established large tumors, because the stroma is like the 'root of the tumor," said study author Hans Schreiber, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Chicago. However, effects of current treatments that target stroma are usually transient and not cancer-specific."

"Since cancer is a genetic disease," he said, "we wondered whether mutant proteins are released into the surroundings and picked up by the stroma. If so, we can target the root of the cancer in a cancer-specific way to arrest or eradicate a tumor."

They injected T cells, the immune system's warriors, into mice with large established cancers. These T cells, specifically engineered to recognize the tumor antigen, had no direct impact on the cancerous cells but managed to kill stromal cells. This reduced tumor size and stopped the growth of tumors for more than 80 days.

Although targeting the stroma didn't eliminate all cancer cells, it did stop or slow the growth of well-established cancers after a single injection of T cells.

Such growth arrest in patients would be an admirable achievement for many cancers, the authors write, "and could also be used as an adjuvant to other therapies."

Tumor eradication is obviously preferable to tumor arrest, the authors note. "We can't target cancer cells when they have lost their antigen-presenting molecules, said co-author Bin Zhang, PhD, a former postdoctoral fellow in Schreiber's laboratory and now assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio. So stroma becomes an ideal alternative target for T cells."

One concern was that other, healthy cells in tissues like the spleen could also pick up the antigens and become a target for T cells, said Zhang. We did not see this," he added. "Only tumor-derived stromal cells appear to pick up and present tumor antigen.

The next step is to test this approach for melanoma, breast and colon cancer, Zhang said. We know that stromal cells often present tumor-antigen in these tumors, but have not yet performed T cell therapy on these mice.

They are also studying this approach for human cancers. Early results suggest that "this approach might be useful for the human situation as well, Zhang said.


Contact: John Easton
University of Chicago Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. New study of targeted therapies for breast cancer -- model for global clinical trials
2. Weill Cornell team identifies potential new drug targets against hormone-dependent breast cancer
3. Researchers find possible target to treat deadly bloodstream infections
4. Most Internet Sex Offenders Target Teens, Not Kids
5. Novel method to reveal drug targets
6. Tumor-killing virus selectively targets diseased brain cells
7. Enzyme structure reveals new drug targets for cancer and other diseases
8. GPS for the Prostate: System Keeps Radiation Therapy on Target
9. NeoStrata Clinical Findings Reveal Benefits of Combining Glycolic Acid Peels and Targeted Home Care With Microdermabrasion for Optimized Treatment of Photodamaged Skin
10. Childrens Hospital scientists identify possible target for prevention and treatment of pneumonia
11. Campaign Targets Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Kids
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils ... an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic ... 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated with ... as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , Dr. ... handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands by ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in ... investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and ... more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... financial data derived from varied research sources to present unique ... on the market during the next five years, including a ... markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship ... The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... to let type 1 diabetes stand in the way ... Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: