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UC Davis scientists identify new target for lung cancer treatment
Date:11/1/2012

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) A team of UC Davis investigators has discovered a protein on the surface of lung cancer cells that could prove to be an important new target for anti-cancer therapy. A series of experiments in mice with lung cancer showed that specific targeting of the protein with monoclonal antibodies reduced the size of tumors, lowered the occurrence of metastases and substantially lengthened survival time. The findings will be published in the November issue of Cancer Research.

"Lung cancer continues to be one of the biggest killers in the United States, and very few treatments directly target it," said Joseph Tuscano, co-principal investigator of the study and professor of hematology and oncology in the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine. "Our findings may ultimately lead to the identification of a novel and specific therapy for lung cancer."

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer in both men and women in the United States. Despite new treatments, survival from non-small cell types of lung cancer -- the most common form of the disease -- averages less than one year.

The UC Davis investigation focused on CD22, a cell adhesion molecule, which is a protein located on the surface of a cell. Its function is to bind with other cells or with the extracellular matrix, the non-cellular environment surrounding cells.

The research group has worked on CD22 for many years since finding that B lymphocytes carry CD22, making it a potential target for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease that usually involves an abnormal proliferation of B cells. They developed a monoclonal antibody -- known as HB22.7 -- to target CD22, and it was found to successfully treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in mouse models. HB22.7, as well as other monoclonal antibody-based therapies, have little toxicity because they very specifically home in on and destroy cells containing the target antigen, in this case C
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Contact: Dorsey Griffith
dorsey.griffith@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9118
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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