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Penn researchers uncover novel immune therapy for pancreatic cancer
Date:3/24/2011

the tumor."

The researchers believe that the CD40 antibodies also activated T cells in the mice, but the T cells couldn't get into the tumor or its surrounding tissue. "We learned that T cells have a major problem with migration into tumors, and this may be a particular problem for pancreatic cancer," Vonderheide says. "The area surrounding pancreatic cancers is very dense, fibrotic, and hostile. This is one of the main reasons standard therapies for this disease often work so poorly."

The researchers are now working on ways to capitalize on their novel information, testing ways to super-charge the macrophage response and to get the T cells into the tumor microenvironment. Vonderheide thinks his team can speed up clinical research by running pilot trials in the mice to test potential therapeutics. Once they understand responses in the mice, then they can use that information to design better human trials.

"Beyond our specific findings, we think these findings point to a new approach for drug development in cancer -- one where we use state-of-the-art mouse models for preclinical trials to guide which trials we should do next in patients," Vonderheide says. "It should be faster, cheaper and give us a head start in the clinical trials."


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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