Blocking certain cells may let immune system fight melanoma


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Blocking certain cells may let immune system fight melanoma

Author Message
Profile Misfit
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 21 Jun 01
Posts: 21790
Credit: 2,510,901
RAC: 0
United States
Message 454973 - Posted: 11 Nov 2006, 4:04:06 UTC

ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 10, 2006

The body's immune system can fight the deadly cancer melanoma if scientists can flip the system's “off” switch to “on,” two preliminary studies suggest.

Scientists have long sought to rev up the disease-fighting cells of the immune system to fight melanoma. The new work addresses the other side of the coin – the regulatory cells that normally keep disease-fighting cells in check.

By shutting off those inhibiting cells, scientists hope to enable the disease-fighting cells to mount a continuous attack on the cancer. Two new studies of that strategy were reported this week in Prague, Czech Republic, at a European cancer research meeting.

“This is a fundamentally different approach to treating cancer,” said Dr. Alexander Eggermont, professor of surgical oncology at the University of Rotterdam, Netherlands, the conference's chairman. Eggermont was not connected to either of the skin cancer research papers.

Advanced melanoma is a devastating disease for which there is no effective treatment. The average life expectancy is about nine months, and less than 20 percent of patients survive more than two years after diagnosis.

In one paper, Dr. Jason Chesney from the J.G. Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Ky., reported that when patients with advanced melanoma were given a drug combination to knock out their T-regulatory cells, tumors shrank or remained stable in five of seven participants.

“This is a landmark study,” said Dr. Anna Pavlick, director of the melanoma program at New York University Medical Center's cancer institute, who was not involved in the study. “What it shows is that by suppressing T-regulatory cells, we can take the brakes off a patient's immune system.”

In another study presented Wednesday, Dr. Jeffrey Weber, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, described how he and colleagues were able to block a protein on the T-regulatory cells. That inhibited them enough for the immune system to attack cancer cells.

Out of 25 patients tested, 24 are alive after 17 months, and three are free of cancer.
____________

Join BOINC Synergy!

Profile Beethoven
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Jun 06
Posts: 15274
Credit: 8,546
RAC: 0
Message 454995 - Posted: 11 Nov 2006, 4:34:19 UTC

As one of the few survivors of it, all I can say is:

Yippeekayay!!!

Go Docs Go!

This cancer has taken down a lot of people. These guys deserve a Nobel Prize if they find that important little switch.


____________

Profile mikey
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 17 Dec 99
Posts: 4215
Credit: 3,474,603
RAC: 0
United States
Message 455168 - Posted: 11 Nov 2006, 13:41:50 UTC

And in a related article:
British scientists have been awarded £10m to develop genetic treatments that could enable humans to regrow limbs damaged by accidents or surgery and allow patients to recover from wounds without scarring.
http://homepage.mac.com/edandhelen/iblog/C605282913/E20051012071808/index.html
The ambitious project aims to unravel the genetic quirks that allow certain amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders, to recover from severe injuries by regenerating fresh body tissues. By identifying the genetic mechanisms behind such extraordinary feats of healing, the researchers hope to develop medical treatments that do the same in humans.

Enrique Amaya, a tissue engineer at Manchester University and leader of the project, has begun work looking at the regenerative capabilities of frogs. At a press conference in London yesterday, he gave details of one experiment in which he cut frog embryos to see how the wounds healed. "This is a really big scrape. It's the equivalent of a 20-year-old falling off a motorbike at 70mph," he said. "But within one and a half hours, the wound completely heals."
Perhaps the most impressive tissue regeneration occurs in salamanders, which are able to regrow entire limbs, even as adults. Experiments by Dr Amaya showed that when a front limb was clipped off a salamander, the stump formed a ball of cells called a blastema which went on to grow into all the specific tissue types needed to regrow the limb, completing the task in about 25 days. "You can clip it off as many times as you like, it will still grow back," said Dr Amaya.

If the researchers can tease apart the subtle genetic differences that allow some organisms to regrow limbs and heal without scarring, they still have significant hurdles to clear before developing a treatment for humans. Genetic therapies are in their infancy and years of animal studies would be needed to ensure any treatment did not trigger uncontrolled cell growth, leading to cancer.

Gus McGrouther, a plastic surgeon at Manchester University, said that while the research was in its early stages, the goal of regrowing limbs was not beyond human grasp. "It's an achievable future, it will eventually happen."

____________

Profile Dr. C.E.T.I.
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 29 Feb 00
Posts: 15993
Credit: 690,597
RAC: 0
United States
Message 455170 - Posted: 11 Nov 2006, 13:44:59 UTC - in response to Message 454973.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 10, 2006

The body's immune system can fight the deadly cancer melanoma if scientists can flip the system's “off” switch to “on,” two preliminary studies suggest.

Scientists have long sought to rev up the disease-fighting cells of the immune system to fight melanoma. The new work addresses the other side of the coin – the regulatory cells that normally keep disease-fighting cells in check.

By shutting off those inhibiting cells, scientists hope to enable the disease-fighting cells to mount a continuous attack on the cancer. Two new studies of that strategy were reported this week in Prague, Czech Republic, at a European cancer research meeting.

“This is a fundamentally different approach to treating cancer,” said Dr. Alexander Eggermont, professor of surgical oncology at the University of Rotterdam, Netherlands, the conference's chairman. Eggermont was not connected to either of the skin cancer research papers.

Advanced melanoma is a devastating disease for which there is no effective treatment. The average life expectancy is about nine months, and less than 20 percent of patients survive more than two years after diagnosis.

In one paper, Dr. Jason Chesney from the J.G. Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Ky., reported that when patients with advanced melanoma were given a drug combination to knock out their T-regulatory cells, tumors shrank or remained stable in five of seven participants.

“This is a landmark study,” said Dr. Anna Pavlick, director of the melanoma program at New York University Medical Center's cancer institute, who was not involved in the study. “What it shows is that by suppressing T-regulatory cells, we can take the brakes off a patient's immune system.”

In another study presented Wednesday, Dr. Jeffrey Weber, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, described how he and colleagues were able to block a protein on the T-regulatory cells. That inhibited them enough for the immune system to attack cancer cells.

Out of 25 patients tested, 24 are alive after 17 months, and three are free of cancer.


@ Misfit - do ya 'ave the Links to this . . . it would be appreciated

Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Blocking certain cells may let immune system fight melanoma

Copyright © 2014 University of California