Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hopkins Study Shows New Target For Boosting The Immune System To Improve Cancer Vaccines

Date:
July 2, 1999
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Cancer scientists at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center have figured out a way to keep the body's cancer-fighting immune cells awake and responsive to tumor cells far longer than they normally do.

Cancer scientists at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center have figured out a way to keep the body's cancer-fighting immune cells awake and responsive to tumor cells far longer than they normally do.

Scientists have long known that it is possible to activate immune cells to recognize molecules found on tumor cells. Over time, the ability of the immune system to respond to cancer cells diminishes. In the current research, published in the July 1, 1999 issue of Nature Medicine, the Hopkins team, working with genetically engineered mice, used an antibody to a molecule found on the surface of so-called antigen presenting cells (or APCs) to restore the ability of the immune system to respond.

"We believe APCs are key to teaching specialized immune system cells called T-cells to identify and track down cancer cells. Our strategy seeks to activate the APCs so they are better at 'priming' T-cells," says Hyam Levitsky, M.D., associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins and senior author. "One reason that immunotherapy of cancer frequently doesn't work is that it's very hard to keep the immune system responsive to tumors as they grow," explains Levitsky.

Researchers suspect that APC cells capture immune-triggering proteins from dying cells, including tumor cells. APCs, which are derived from bone marrow, are the only cells that are able to "present" these proteins, known as antigens, to T-cells which trigger a cascade of events that destroys cancer. "Activation of the APC has been the critical missing link in this cascade," says lead author, Eduardo Sotomayor, M.D., a fellow of the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America.

"Our method of activation, which targets CD-40 proteins on the APC, may now be used to provide a stimulant that enhances cancer vaccines used in treatment and, at the very least, prevent the immune system from becoming tolerant to cancer cells," says Sotomayor.

The T-cells studied in the Hopkins research, called CD-4+T-cells, are well known to immunologists as the same cells targeted by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "The CD-4+T-cell is like an army general that gives the order to killer cells to seek out and destroy foreign invaders in the body. In cancer, the immune system remains asleep, because the CD-4+T-cell never sends the order to attack. We believe the APCs can wake it up," explains Levitsky.

In addition to Levitsky and Sotomayor, other research participants including Ivan Borrello, M.D., Erev Tubb, Frederique-Marie Rattis, Ph.D., Harold Bien, Zhengbin Lu, Steve Fein, M.D., and Stephen Schoenberger, Ph.D., of La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

Related Web Site:

The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center: http://www.med.jhu.edu/cancerctr


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Study Shows New Target For Boosting The Immune System To Improve Cancer Vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701095809.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1999, July 2). Hopkins Study Shows New Target For Boosting The Immune System To Improve Cancer Vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701095809.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Study Shows New Target For Boosting The Immune System To Improve Cancer Vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990701095809.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins