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:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... Therachat , a smart ... and providing demos of its smart journaling platform at the 125th American Psychological ... D.C. from August 3-6, 2017. , The APA Annual Convention is one of ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... Aloria Health, as medical director. Dr. Negrette has more than a decade of ... She has worked closely with individuals fighting addictions, eating disorders, psychotic and manic ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2017 , ... SignatureCare ... emergencies in the Austin, TX area 24 Hours a day. , The ... Austin, TX. , “We’ve been open four months now and things are running ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cheerag D. Upadhyaya , M.D., M.Sc., FAANS has been ... (SLMBNI), part of Saint Luke’s Health System . Dr. Upadhyaya has served in ... M.Sc., FAANS joins Stanley P. Fisher, M.D., who has served as medical ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... BayMark Health Services ... Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis program. ... will facilitate the development of a hub and spoke model for opioid treatment ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/13/2017)... , July 13, 2017 RK Logistics Group, ... of Pharmacy certification for its Fremont, CA ... solutions in the Tri-Valley and San Jose ... City of Fremont , with its Fremont Innovation ... to provide such a powerful resource to the hundreds of ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , July 12, 2017  Eli Lilly and ... settlement agreement with generic companies to resolve pending patent litigation ... Virginia regarding the Cialis ® ... expire on April 26, 2020. As part of the agreement, ... on September 27, 2018. "The unit dose patent ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... 2017  The global market for liquid biopsy diagnostic ... million in 2016.  Although in early stages, the global ... particular as a result of the gradual shift towards ... introduction of a significant number of new liquid biopsy ... tumor biomarkers to guide treatment decisions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: