Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain tumours: Artificial stimulation of the immune system could mean less aggressive treatment

Date:
September 26, 2012
Source:
Medical University of Vienna
Summary:
Brain metastases are common secondary complications of other types of cancer, particularly lung, breast and skin cancer. The body’s own immune response in the brain is rendered powerless in the fight against these metastases by inflammatory reactions. Researchers have now, for the first time, precisely characterized the brain’s immune response to infiltrating metastases. This could pave the way to the development of new, less aggressive treatment options.

Researchers at the MedUni Vienna have now, for the first time, precisely characterised the brain’s immune response to infiltrating metastases.
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical University of Vienna

Brain metastases are common secondary complications of other types of cancer, particularly lung, breast and skin cancer. The body's own immune response in the brain is rendered powerless in the fight against these metastases by inflammatory reactions. Researchers at the MedUni Vienna have now, for the first time, precisely characterised the brain's immune response to infiltrating metastases. This could pave the way to the development of new, less aggressive treatment options.

Related Articles


"The active phagocytes are quite literally overwhelmed by the tumour and even the white blood cells are too weak to fight off these metastases on their own; they have to be stimulated before they can have any effect," explains oncologist Matthias Preusser from the University Department of Internal Medicine I and the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), a joint institution operated by the MedUni Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital.

Brain tissue was obtained for investigation from autopsies carried out on people who had metastatic disease secondary to breast, lung or skin cancer. These are also the most common types of primary tumour. Brain metastases develop because they spread from the tumours into other parts of the body right up to the brain.

The scientists at the Clinical Institute of Neurology, the Centre for Brain Research, the CCC and the University Department of Internal Medicine I have discovered that metastases in the brain do encounter a wall of phagocytes, but it is too weak to successfully arrest the tumour's development. To do this, white blood cells (lymphocytes) need to be mobilised in greater numbers as the second instance of the immune defence system.

These findings could lead to new therapeutic strategies being developed that will aim to increase the activation of white blood cells or other parts of the immune system -- perhaps through medication such as antibody treatments or vaccines.

300 to 400 patients with brain metastases are treated each year at the MedUni Vienna. The standard treatment in most cases is radiotherapy to the head or generalised irradiation of the brain -- which is associated with certain risks and possible side effects. Only in very few cases are drug-based treatment methods available for certain types of cancer. Says Preusser: "Our findings could represent an important step towards the development of less aggressive forms of treatment."

The study has been drawn up across various disciplines at the Clinical Institute of Neurology, the Department of Neuroimmunology at the Centre for Brain Research and at the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CNS Tumours Unit). Author Anna Sophie Berghoff from the CCC presented the findings of the study at a lecture given at the Congress of the European Association of Neuro-Oncologists (EANO) in Marseilles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Sophie Berghoff, Hans Lassmann, Matthias Preusser, Romana Hφftberger. Characterization of the inflammatory response to solid cancer metastases in the human brain. Clinical & Experimental Metastasis, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s10585-012-9510-4

Cite This Page:

Medical University of Vienna. "Brain tumours: Artificial stimulation of the immune system could mean less aggressive treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926092633.htm>.
Medical University of Vienna. (2012, September 26). Brain tumours: Artificial stimulation of the immune system could mean less aggressive treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926092633.htm
Medical University of Vienna. "Brain tumours: Artificial stimulation of the immune system could mean less aggressive treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926092633.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 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:

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