Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Smart' Immune Cells Kill More Cancer

Date:
March 16, 2005
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
In efforts to educate the body to fight off cancer, researchers have found that some immune cells are "smarter" than others. Working with collections of human cells, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists tested kill-rates of two kinds of T-cells "primed" to home in on myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. Those that live in the bone marrow outperformed their counterparts circulating in the blood by more than 90 percent.

In efforts to educate the body to fight off cancer, researchers have found that some immune cells are "smarter" than others. Working with collections of human cells, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists tested kill-rates of two kinds of T-cells "primed" to home in on myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. Those that live in the bone marrow outperformed their counterparts circulating in the blood by more than 90 percent.

"It is very difficult to design cancer therapies that get the body's immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells that the system has ignored for a long time," says Ivan Borrello, M.D., assistant professor of oncology and director of the research, which is published in the March 1 issue of Cancer Research. "Now, we have evidence that 'educating' T-cells in the bone marrow may be the most effective way to get an anti-tumor response."

In nature, T-cells are responsible for identifying cells that are foreign to the body, including genetically altered cancer cells, and marking them for destruction. In the Hopkins study of both kinds of T-cells, those from the blood and bone marrow, scientists mixed them with magnetic beads coated with tumor antibodies, a sort of "artificial intelligence" that activated and expanded the T-cells' cancer-killing mode.

The marrow T-cells identified not only mature myeloma cells but the primitive cells responsible for the disease. Activated bone marrow T-cells stopped the growth of 86 percent of myeloma stem cell colonies compared to 47 percent for activated t-cells taken from circulating blood. The researchers' next step is to determine whether the cells' ability to limit cancer growth in culture dishes ultimately may do the same in patients.

Kimmel Cancer Center researchers are planning studies in a small number of myeloma patients to test the activated marrow T-cells alone and in combination with a myeloma vaccine.

"While T-cells from circulating blood traditionally are used in immunotherapy strategies because they are easy to obtain and grow, they often don't recognize the tumor," says Borrello.

"In the case of myeloma, we believe the marrow T-cells have certain surface markers that may help them migrate back to the site of the tumor," he says. "Moreover, the marrow itself contains some type of stimulant to attract the cells," says Kimberly Noonan, researcher and first author of the paper.

To treat patients, the scientists will collect a small amount of bone marrow from patients and with relative ease, grow and activate large numbers of T-cells from that source. These would then be given intravenously back to patients. However, according to Borrello, they may find that an additional cancer vaccine may increase the overall anti-tumor effect of the marrow T-cells.

They also believe that patients with other blood, bone marrow and solid tumors such as breast cancer may benefit from this type of immunotherapy. Evidence from other research groups indicates that breast cancer patients have T-cells in their bone marrow that are specific to their tumor.

Myeloma strikes close to 16,000 Americans annually and kills 11,300.

Other participants of this research include William Matsui, Paolo Serafini, Rebecca Carbley, Gladys Tan, Hyam Levitsky, and Katherine Whartenby from Johns Hopkins; and Jahan Khalili and Mark Bonyhadi from Xcyte Therapies.


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. "'Smart' Immune Cells Kill More Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309103441.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2005, March 16). 'Smart' Immune Cells Kill More Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309103441.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "'Smart' Immune Cells Kill More Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309103441.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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