Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers target cancer stem cells in malignant brain tumors

Date:
January 6, 2014
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers identified immune system targets on cancer stem cells – cells from which malignant brain tumors are believed to originate and regenerate – and created an experimental vaccine to attack them.

Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Department of Neurosurgery identified immune system targets on cancer stem cells -- cells from which malignant brain tumors are believed to originate and regenerate -- and created an experimental vaccine to attack them.

Results of laboratory and animal studies are published in the online edition of Stem Cells Translational Medicine, and will appear in the March 2014 print edition. A Phase I safety study in human volunteers with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive brain tumor in adults, is underway.

Like normal stem cells, cancer stem cells have the ability to self-renew and generate new cells, but instead of producing healthy cells, they create cancer cells. In theory, if the cancer stem cells can be destroyed, a tumor may not be able to sustain itself, but if the cancer originators are not removed or destroyed, a tumor will continue to return despite the use of existing cancer-killing therapies.

The researchers identified certain fragments of a protein -- CD133 -- that is found on cancer stem cells of some brain tumors and other cancers. In the laboratory, they cultured the proteins with dendritic cells, the immune system's most powerful antigen-presenting cells, which are responsible for helping the immune system recognize and attack invaders.

Studies in lab mice showed that the resulting vaccine was able to stimulate an immune response against the CD133 proteins without causing side effects such as an autoimmune reaction against normal cells or organs.

"CD133 is one of several proteins made at high levels in the cancer stem cells of glioblastoma multiforme. Because this protein appears to be associated with resistance of the cancer stem cells to treatment with radiation or chemotherapy or both, we see it as an ideal target for immunotherapy. We have found at least two fragments of the protein that can be targeted to trigger an immune response to kill tumor cells. We don't know yet if the response would be strong enough to prevent a tumor from coming back, but we now have a human clinical trial underway to assess safety for further study," said John Yu, MD, vice chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, director of surgical neuro-oncology, medical director of the Brain Tumor Center and neurosurgical director of the Gamma Knife Program at Cedars-Sinai. He is senior author of the journal article.

With standard care, which includes surgery, radiation treatment and chemotherapy, median length of survival is 15 months for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. Cedars-Sinai researchers have studied dendritic cell immunotherapy since 1997, with the first patient human clinical trial launched in 1998.

The dendritic cell vaccines are produced by the biotechnology company ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd., which funded this study. Cedars-Sinai owns equity in the company, and certain rights in the vaccine technology and corresponding intellectual property have been exclusively licensed by Cedars-Sinai to ImmunoCellular Therapeutics.

Two members of the research team and authors of this article have ties to the company. Yu, senior author, owns stock in the company and is its founder, chief scientific officer and chair of the board of directors. James Bender, PhD, MPH, a co-author, is ImmunoCellular Therapeutics' vice president for product development and manufacturing.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Ji, V. A. Judkowski, G. Liu, H. Wang, A. Bunying, Z. Li, M. Xu, J. Bender, C. Pinilla, J. S. Yu. Identification of Novel Human Leukocyte Antigen-A*0201-Restricted, Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Epitopes on CD133 for Cancer Stem Cell Immunotherapy. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2013-0135

Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Researchers target cancer stem cells in malignant brain tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132705.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2014, January 6). Researchers target cancer stem cells in malignant brain tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132705.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Researchers target cancer stem cells in malignant brain tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132705.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) The worst known Ebola outbreak is proving extremely difficult to contain. Hospitals are full, and victims of the virus are suffering in the streets. Video provided by Newsy
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