Navigation Links
Study identifies biomarker that safely monitors tumor response to new brain cancer treatment

LOS ANGELES (STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EDT on JULY 1, 2009) A specific biomarker, a protein released by dying tumor cells, has been identified as an effective tool in an animal model to gauge the response to a novel gene therapy treatment for glioblastoma mulitforme. The finding, reported in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, paves the way for a Phase 1 clinical trial expected to begin in late 2009.

The gene therapy is a two-pronged strategy devised by scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gene Therapeutics Research Institute. It uses a genetically engineered, harmless virus to deliver a combination of proteins and a drug to kill tumor cells, which triggers an ongoing immune response against malignant brain tumors cells.

The Cedars-Sinai team led by Pedro R. Lowenstein, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Board of Governors Gene Therapeutics Research Institute, and Maria G. Castro, Ph.D., co-director of the Institute, developed this gene therapy strategy during 10 years of laboratory research.

"Using this therapy, we have shrunk and completely eliminated very large brain tumors in animals and have trained their immune systems to develop memory so that recurrent tumors are also destroyed," said Castro, principal investigator of the study. "The biomarker identified in this study will help us determine the effectiveness of the therapy in patients with glioblastoma multiforme."

In this study, the researchers identified the most effective and least toxic combination of therapeutic agents that would offer the best results. They found that a protein released by dying tumor cells may be used as a "biomarker" to gauge the effectiveness of treatment. This protein, called "high mobility group box 1" (HMGB1), regulates gene expression in healthy cells by binding to the cells' DNA. When cancerous cells are killed, however, HMGB1 is released into the general blood circulation. This research shows that measuring the levels of HMGB1 in the blood could be a non-invasive but essential way to monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapeutics in patients. These findings will be used to fine-tune the therapy as it enters the Phase I clinical trial.

Traditional treatments have little impact on long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common malignancy in the brain, diagnosed in about 18,000 people in the United States every year.

The immune system is considered a potential ally, but the brain has few dendritic cells -- key sentries of the immune system that detect foreign proteins and provide the very initial signals for the T cells to mount an anti-tumor immune attack. Without the surveillance of dendritic cells, brain tumors go undetected and proliferate rapidly.

In the technique devised by Castro and Lowenstein, one of the proteins (the immune stimulatory cytokine Flt3L) attracts dendritic cells from bone marrow into the tumor while another protein (thymidine kinase) and the antiviral drug gancyclovir combine to kill tumor cells. The dying tumor cells are detected by the newly recruited dendritic cells, which initiate the anti-tumor response. The biomarker identified in this study is a result of the ongoing battle between the T cells and the tumor cells. As such, the biomarker will be a useful direct reporter of the ensuing fight to kill the tumor.


Contact: Simi Singer
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified ... be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major ... only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With ... fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their ... global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD ... in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: