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.

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 April 23, 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 April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 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