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.

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 October 22, 2014 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 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