Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineering the immune system to fight melanoma

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Medical researchers have launched the first clinical trial in the Midwest of an experimental melanoma treatment that genetically engineers a patient's immune system to fight the deadly cancer.

Loyola University Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the Midwest of an experimental melanoma treatment that genetically engineers a patient's immune system to fight the deadly cancer.

Related Articles


A batch of the immune system's killer T cells will be removed from the patient and genetically modified in a Loyola lab. Two genes will be inserted into the T cells so that they will recognize tumor cells as abnormal.

The patient will undergo high-dose chemotherapy to kill most of his or her remaining T cells. This will make room for the genetically modified T cells when they are put back in the patient. The modified T cells, it is hoped, will recognize the tumor cells as abnormal and then attack and kill them.

"This clinical trial is a unique attempt to manipulate a person's own immune system to attack their cancer in a more effective and specific manner," said Joseph Clark, MD, one of the principal investigators of the trial.

The purpose of the Phase 1 trial is to determine the optimum dose and whether the treatment is safe. Four doses will be tested, with the highest dose consisting of about 5 billion genetically modified T cells. If Phase 1 demonstrates the treatment is safe, investigators will proceed to Phase 2, which will determine whether the treatment is effective.

Melanoma is the sixth-most-common cancer in Americans, and the most common fatal malignancy in young adults. Incidence is rising dramatically. About 1 in 50 people will be diagnosed with melanoma. In the 1960s, it was 1 in 600.

Surgery is highly successful if the cancer is caught early. But if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is only 15 to 20 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

"This is a terrible, devastating disease," Clark said. "It starts on the skin and can spread to just about anywhere in the body."

The clinical trial is open to patients with metastatic melanoma who are no longer responding to standard therapy. "We need better treatments," Clark said. "Our clinical trial is designed for patients who have no other options."

The experimental immune system therapy was developed by Michael I. Nishimura, PhD, director of the Immunotherapeutics Program at Loyola's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. The cells will be prepared in the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Cellular Therapy in the Bernardin Cancer Center.

Nishimura is principal investigator of a five-year, $16.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. "Our goal is to create novel therapies for the treatment of advanced malignancies," he said.

Additional funding for the trial comes from a National Cancer Institute grant to Lentigen Corp., which makes the vector that delivers the genes to the T cells, and from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the economic stimulus bill).

Clark is a professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. Nishimura is a professor in the Department of Surgery and associate director of the Oncology Institute of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Other investigators in the trial are Patrick Stiff, MD, director of the Bernardin center; Constantine Godellas, MD; Kelli Hutchens, MD; and Caroline Le Poole, PhD. For more information, call 708-327-3221.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Engineering the immune system to fight melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001123821.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2012, October 1). Engineering the immune system to fight melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001123821.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Engineering the immune system to fight melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001123821.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) 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