Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Killer Cells In Umbilical Cord Blood Fight Leukemia

Date:
May 16, 2008
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Researchers have found a therapy that effectively kills human leukemia cells in mice using natural killer cells from umbilical cord blood. They have demonstrated an effective method for expanding the number of NK cells from a single cord blood unit while retaining the cells' anti-leukemia effects.

Researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found a therapy that effectively kills human leukemia cells in mice using natural killer (NK) cells from umbilical cord blood.

Related Articles


Patrick Zweidler-McKay, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics from the Children's Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson, has shown an effective method for expanding the number of NK cells from a single cord blood unit while retaining the cells' anti-leukemia effects, as presented at the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology annual conference on May 16.

Previous efforts to expand cord blood have resulted in ineffective NK cells. However, Zweidler-McKay and co-senior investigator Elizabeth Shpall, M.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, have found a novel process to increase NK cells in cord blood more than 30-fold, generating more than 150 million NK cells from one cord blood unit while maintaining their activation to find and kill acute leukemia cells.

When given to mice with aggressive human leukemias, these NK cells reduced the circulating human acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells by 60 to 85 percent.

"Cord blood is a promising source of natural killer cells because the NK cells have enhanced sensitivity to stimulation, decreased potential to cause graft-versus-host disease and are available from cord banks throughout the country and world," says Zweidler-McKay.

NK Cells Spare Normal Cells While Attacking ALL and AML

Graft-versus-host disease is a common side effect of patients receiving stem cell transplants, which results when the T cells in the transplanted blood react against the patient's own cells. This disease can become fatal if it's unable to be controlled. NK cells operate differently from T cells, leaving normal cells alone while targeting and killing the cancerous cells.

Historical transplants used a matched donor's peripheral blood or bone marrow to transplant to a patient. However, in 1988, researchers found cord blood to be another source for stem cell transplantation. These immature stem cells were easier to match to patients, especially those from non-Caucasian ethnicities, and could be stored for use as needed.

Zweidler-McKay's study involves selecting out NK cells from cord blood. As the cord blood is expanded to multiply in number, the NK cells are given a cytokine, interleukin-2, and a target cell, K562, which keep the NK cells active throughout the three week expansion.

Once the process is complete, the NK cells can be transplanted to patients without prior chemotherapy. Zweidler-McKay also predicts this type of transplant could be used for adults who have already had a transplant or for those adult and pediatric patients who aren't candidates for other stem cell transplants due to blood counts or illness.

"These NK cells demonstrate significant cytotoxic activity against human AML and ALL cell lines and patient leukemia blasts. Most importantly, mouse models of human AML and ALL were sensitive to NK cell infusions," says Zweidler-McKay. "These results support the evaluation of cord blood-derived NK cells as a potential immuno-therapeutic approach in acute leukemias."

Lead investigator on the study is Dongxia Xing, Ph.D., and Zweidler-McKay and Shpall are senior investigators, all from M. D. Anderson.

  


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Natural Killer Cells In Umbilical Cord Blood Fight Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516112532.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2008, May 16). Natural Killer Cells In Umbilical Cord Blood Fight Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516112532.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Natural Killer Cells In Umbilical Cord Blood Fight Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516112532.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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