Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stanford Study Finds New Method Improves Chemotherapy Survival In Mice

Date:
December 20, 2004
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
Seeking to find a way to lessen patients' vulnerability to deadly infections following chemotherapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have figured out a way to boost the immune function in animals following such treatments.

STANFORD, Calif. - Seeking to find a way to lessen patients' vulnerability to deadly infections following chemotherapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have figured out a way to boost the immune function in animals following such treatments. Their approach involves increasing the pool of cells that give rise to neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is critical for fighting bacterial and fungal infections but is particularly ravaged by chemotherapy.

"Our approach hadn't been studied before, which is interesting because it's a very straightforward concept," said study leader Janice "Wes" Brown, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the divisions of bone marrow transplantation and infectious diseases.

The team reported that an infusion of a type of bone marrow cell from a donor mouse yielded significantly more neutrophils in the laboratory mice a week after a dose of a typical chemotherapeutic agent. The procedure also increased the animals' ability to fight a deadly fungal infection. The team's findings appear in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Blood.

The condition in which neutrophils are lacking is known as neutropenia. It is the leading cause of death among cancer patients that is not related to their tumor. Because of the seriousness of the condition, doctors will reduce chemotherapy doses if they notice an infection developing in the early phases of the disease, which can decrease the efficacy of the cancer treatment. Additionally, resulting fevers and infections during neutropenia must be fought with antibiotics and antifungals, which can be toxic and spur resistance.

"Clinicians see neutropenia all the time and follow the usual protocols of antibiotics and antifungals," said Brown, who is the sole infectious disease consultant for the bone marrow transplantation division. "We thought, 'Why are we just waiting for the neutropenia to resolve or for the patient to develop an infection? Why don't we try to prevent it?'"

Brown's group sought to circumvent the problem by adding more of one type of cell-the myeloid progenitor. This cell can follow several routes of development. They can turn into red blood cells, platelets or neutrophils. Using the progenitor cells seems to be more effective than using mature neutrophils, the researchers said.

The researchers gave a single dose of the chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil to mice, and the next day gave some of the mice an infusion of purified myeloid progenitor cells. They then exposed all of the mice to a fungus that had killed a chemotherapy patient.

One week later, researchers found that the mice treated with the cellular boost had significantly more neutrophils in their spleens, blood and bone marrow than the ones that had not received the infusion. More than half of the treated mice survived, while only a third of the ones without it did.

The study follows on the heels of earlier work by Brown and her team on the effectiveness of this strategy following radiation treatment. That earlier research also showed that the use of myeloid progenitors improved the ability of the mice to survive exposure to a fungus as well as a bacterial infection.

Brown's group is now looking at combining cellular infusion with clinical strategies of using antifungals or growth factors to stimulate increases in neutrophil numbers. So far in animal studies, she said, it looks like the therapies merge well and will add together for more effective protection.

Brown noted that the use of the myeloid progenitor cells may be preferential to using mature neutrophils for at least two reasons. First, the myeloid progenitors give rise to a broader spectrum of cells, including platelets and red blood cells, which is helpful in restoring normal blood functions. And second, the myeloid progenitors can survive freezing and thus can be more readily available for treatment. By contrast, the mature cells must be infused immediately into a patient following the collection period, which typically takes four hours per session.

"And the good thing is that we have readily isolated these cells from blood samples from donors and patients," Brown said, "so collection of these cells for clinical use doesn't require the development of new technology."

###

Brown's team at Stanford included Andrew BitMansour, who is now a graduate student at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Thai Cao, MD, clinical instructor in the division of bone marrow transplantation; life science research assistant Sumana Sashidar; and Stephanie Chao, who is now a medical student at UC-San Francisco. Their study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Amy Strelzer Manasevit Scholars Program, ASBMT/Roche New Investigator Award, the Center for Clinical Immunology at Stanford and an unrestricted educational grant from Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "Stanford Study Finds New Method Improves Chemotherapy Survival In Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219205653.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2004, December 20). Stanford Study Finds New Method Improves Chemotherapy Survival In Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219205653.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "Stanford Study Finds New Method Improves Chemotherapy Survival In Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219205653.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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