Navigation Links
Using Viagra to combat malignant melanoma
Date:11/8/2011

At first it sounds like good news: The body's own immune system gets active in almost every cancer however, not necessarily for the benefit of the patient. "We distinguish between two different types of immune response," says Professor Dr. Viktor Umansky, immunologist at DKFZ and University Medical Center Mannheim. "On the one hand, cells of the immune system specifically attack tumor cells. On the other, however, almost every tumor causes in its microenvironment a chronic inflammatory immune response which suppresses the specific antitumor immunity."

In an inflammatory immune response, immune cells of a certain type migrate into the tumor environment and release characteristic immune mediators. "Our aim is to reduce the chronic inflammations and, thus, to support the immune system in actively fighting the cancer," Umansky said.

He and his team have now studied chronic inflammation as it is caused by malignant melanoma. For their research, they used genetically-modified (transgenic) mice that spontaneously develop a type of skin cancer which is very similar to human melanoma. In the tumor environment and in metastatic lymph nodes of the animals, the investigators detected inflammatory mediators such interleukin-1-β and interferon-γ. These immune mediators attract what are called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). These immune cells are known to inhibit the immune system's most important tumor-specific fighters, the T cells.

What exactly happens when T cells get under the influence of MDSC? When the researchers exposed T cells obtained from the spleen of a healthy mouse to MDSC in the culture dish, the T cells stopped proliferating. Moreover, the T cells reduced the level of an important activating molecule. "This shows that tumor-specific T cells are actively suppressed by myeloid-derived suppressor cells," said Umansky, explaining their findings.

The melanoma mice were then given sildenafil. This substance, which is better known under its trade name, Viagra, had already been reported to improve tumor immunity in experimental animal models several times before. Of the mice that had been given the substance with their drinking water, more than twice as many were still alive after about seven weeks as of their untreated fellows. In the animals that had been treated, both the number of tumor-specific T cells and the level of activating molecules had returned to normal. This means that sildenafil successfully neutralizes the chronic inflammation in the melanoma environment and combats the immunosuppressive activity of MDSC.

"Our research approach is special because the disease takes a very similar course in mice as melanoma does in humans," Viktor Umansky said explaining the medical relevance of his findings. "Therefore, it is very well possible that sildenafil can also inhibit the immunosuppressive effects of inflammation and thus improve antitumor immunity in people with melanoma. In this way, the drug may contribute to achieving better treatment results in malignant melanoma."


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstdt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. More People Landing in the ER After Abusing Muscle Relaxant: Report
2. NYUCD awarded $2.2 million NIH grant to decode genome of caries-causing bacteria
3. Using Drug for Prevention Might Help in Hard-to-Treat Hemophilia
4. Team discovers how a cancer-causing bacterium spurs cell death
5. High tech detection of breast cancer using nanoprobes and SQUID
6. Mayo Clinic study guides physicians using therapeutic cooling to treat cardiac arrest patients
7. First report of increased safety using simultaneous techniques for cardiac testing published
8. More Teen Males Using Condoms When They First Have Sex: Survey
9. Molecular depth profiling modeled using buckyballs and low-energy argon
10. Infusing chemotherapy into the liver gives extra months of disease-free life in melanoma patients
11. Bed Bug Insecticides Causing Sickness, Officials Warn
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... Traumatic Brian Injury is often in ... one of many possible sources: sports, car accidents, falls, work accidents, combat and ... Rehab Solutions for the Complexities of Concussions is designed for physical and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... Center for Autism and Related Disorders ... spectrum disorder (ASD). Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, Medicaid is covering autism treatment in ... key to providing effective treatment for individuals with ASD. Now, over 1,800 low-income ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... URise Products announces today ... device, the StandUp Walker. Made entirely in the USA, the StandUp Walker is ... , StandUp Walker’s novel patent-pending design offers 2-in-1 benefits of a stand-assist ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, ... ... print and e-book publishing software, in partnership with Snowfall4pod Digital, creators of ... a comprehensive book publishing, content management, global distribution and print-on-demand network. , ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... On January 12, 2016 Paul McElwee, a ... they noticed their furnace not producing any heat. Shortly after entering the home, Paul ... exchanger was leaking dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into the home, at 2,000 parts ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016 --> ... Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic Market to 2019 - ... Environment" research report indicates that the core personalized ... by 2020 growing at a CAGR of 8.74%. ... and targeted therapeutics and is dominated by oncology, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 10, 2016 Demonstrates ... 1 receptor selectivity   1 ... which has entered clinical development as a new ... and schizophrenia.   --> 1 ... has entered clinical development as a new treatment ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON ), an international surgical ... therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine surgery, skull-based surgery, ... other surgical applications, today announced financial results for ... fiscal year 2016 ended December 31, 2015. ... Highlights for the second quarter and first half ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: