Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarker That Safely Monitors Tumor Response To New Brain Cancer Treatment

Date:
July 8, 2009
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
A specific biomarker, a protein released by dying tumor cells, has been identified as an effective tool in an animal model to gauge the response to a novel gene therapy treatment for glioblastoma mulitforme.

A specific biomarker, a protein released by dying tumor cells, has been identified as an effective tool in an animal model to gauge the response to a novel gene therapy treatment for glioblastoma mulitforme. The finding, reported in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, paves the way for a Phase 1 clinical trial expected to begin in late 2009.

Related Articles


The gene therapy is a two-pronged strategy devised by scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gene Therapeutics Research Institute. It uses a genetically engineered, harmless virus to deliver a combination of proteins and a drug to kill tumor cells, which triggers an ongoing immune response against malignant brain tumors cells.

The Cedars-Sinai team led by Pedro R. Lowenstein, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Board of Governors Gene Therapeutics Research Institute, and Maria G. Castro, Ph.D., co-director of the Institute, developed this gene therapy strategy during 10 years of laboratory research.

"Using this therapy, we have shrunk and completely eliminated very large brain tumors in animals and have trained their immune systems to develop memory so that recurrent tumors are also destroyed," said Castro, principal investigator of the study. "The biomarker identified in this study will help us determine the effectiveness of the therapy in patients with glioblastoma multiforme."

In this study, the researchers identified the most effective and least toxic combination of therapeutic agents that would offer the best results. They found that a protein released by dying tumor cells may be used as a "biomarker" to gauge the effectiveness of treatment. This protein, called "high mobility group box 1" (HMGB1), regulates gene expression in healthy cells by binding to the cells' DNA. When cancerous cells are killed, however, HMGB1 is released into the general blood circulation. This research shows that measuring the levels of HMGB1 in the blood could be a non-invasive but essential way to monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapeutics in patients. These findings will be used to fine-tune the therapy as it enters the Phase I clinical trial.

Traditional treatments have little impact on long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common malignancy in the brain, diagnosed in about 18,000 people in the United States every year.

The immune system is considered a potential ally, but the brain has few dendritic cells -- key sentries of the immune system that detect foreign proteins and provide the very initial signals for the T cells to mount an anti-tumor immune attack. Without the surveillance of dendritic cells, brain tumors go undetected and proliferate rapidly.

In the technique devised by Castro and Lowenstein, one of the proteins (the immune stimulatory cytokine Flt3L) attracts dendritic cells from bone marrow into the tumor while another protein (thymidine kinase) and the antiviral drug gancyclovir combine to kill tumor cells. The dying tumor cells are detected by the newly recruited dendritic cells, which initiate the anti-tumor response. The biomarker identified in this study is a result of the ongoing battle between the T cells and the tumor cells. As such, the biomarker will be a useful direct reporter of the ensuing fight to kill the tumor.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, The Bram and Elaine Goldsmith and the Medallions Group Endowed Chairs in Gene Therapeutics, The Linda Tallen and David Paul Kane Foundation Annual Fellowship and the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Biomarker That Safely Monitors Tumor Response To New Brain Cancer Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082714.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2009, July 8). Biomarker That Safely Monitors Tumor Response To New Brain Cancer Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082714.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Biomarker That Safely Monitors Tumor Response To New Brain Cancer Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082714.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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