Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Closing In On A Vaccine For Breast Cancer

Date:
March 14, 2005
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
Progress toward development of a breast cancer vaccine has been reported by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

Mammograms could more frequently bear good news if researchers develop an effective breast cancer vaccine.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Washington University School Of Medicine

Progress toward development of a breast cancer vaccine has been reported by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

Cancer-fighting vaccines stimulate immune cells to recognize tumor cells as foreign and destroy them. Physicians believe a vaccine-induced immune response could be used to supplement other cancer therapies or to immunize high-risk people against cancer.

"We've been studying a protein called mammaglobin-A found in 80 percent of breast tumors," says Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Ph.D., the Jacqueline G. and William E. Maritz Professor of Immunology and Oncology in the Department of Surgery and at the Siteman Cancer Center. "The protein is especially interesting for cancer immunotherapy because of its frequent occurrence and because breast tumors express it at high levels."

In articles in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the researchers report that they constructed a vaccine consisting of copies of the DNA sequence that makes mammaglobin-A in humans.

The researchers theorized the DNA vaccine would rev up special immune cells called T cells to recognize mammaglobin-A as a foreign molecule when it is displayed on the surface of cells as an antigen (a small protein that the immune system may recognize). The primed T-cells then would proliferate and attack when they met with mammaglobin-A antigens.

"Mammaglobin-A is involved in breast development and secreted in breast milk," Mohanakumar says. "So we had to prove first that we could elicit an immune response to a protein that is in the body normally."

They injected the DNA vaccine under the skin of test mice that had been engineered so that their immune systems would react to the human mammaglobin-A like a human immune system. The researchers loaded specific cells in the mice with mammaglobin-A antigens and found that the vaccine-primed T-cells attacked those loaded cells.

The research team also transferred vaccine-primed T cells into mice with growing tumors that had or didn't have mammaglobin-A antigens. Tumors with mammaglobin-A antigens stopped growing and shrunk in volume, while those without the antigens continued to grow at the usual pace.

"The results demonstrated that the vaccine-primed immune response is specific to mammaglobin-A antigens," Mohanakumar says.

Breast tumors with mammaglobin-A antigens on their surface also may display antigens that come from multiple parts of the mammaglobin-A molecule. Further experiments confirmed the importance of generating T cells that can react to a variety of different mammaglobin-A antigens.

When the research team tested a DNA vaccine containing the DNA code for just one part of the mammaglobin-A molecule, they found T cells reacting to only that antigen, indicating that the method can generate immune cells that target specific parts of the mammaglobin-A protein.

"Now that we've found how effectively an immune response can be generated to mammaglobin-A, we plan to conduct clinical trials in patients who are at very high risk for breast cancer and in patients who have had a relapse after initial treatment," Mohanakumar says. "We want to see if giving patients the DNA vaccine can prevent or eliminate breast cancer or at least slow its growth."

###

Narayanan K, Jaramillo A, Benshoff ND, Campbell LC, Fleming TP, Dietz, JR, Mohanakumar T. Response of established human breast tumors to vaccination with mammaglobin-A cDNA. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2004 Sept 15;96(18):1388-1396.

Jaramillo A, Narayanan K, Campbell LG, Benshoff ND, Lybarger L, Hansen TH, Fleming TP, Dietz JR, Mohanakumar T. Recognition of HLA-A2-restricted mammaglobin-A-derived epitopes by CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes from breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2004; 88:29-41.

Funding from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "Closing In On A Vaccine For Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132652.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2005, March 14). Closing In On A Vaccine For Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132652.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "Closing In On A Vaccine For Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132652.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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