Genetically engineering immune systems to fight melanoma: Clinical trial launched
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.
Patients will undergo high-dose chemotherapy to kill most of their 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 Cardinal 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.
Provided by Loyola University Health System
- New combination therapy safe, promising for melanoma patients Jun 01, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Gene therapy for metastatic melanoma in mice produces complete remission Nov 18, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma Jan 31, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers testing virus-gene therapy combination against melanoma Jul 01, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Clinical trial evaluating brain cancer vaccine is underway Oct 19, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
8 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Frequent heartburn was positively associated with cancers of the throat and vocal cord among nonsmokers and nondrinkers, and the use of antacids, but not prescription medications, had a protective effect, according to data ...
Cancer 26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Aggressive forms of bladder cancer involve the protein PODXL – a discovery that could hold the key to improved treatment, according to researchers at Lund University, Uppsala University and KTH in Sweden.
Cancer 2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For the first time, physicists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), biologists and physicians demonstrated the synergistic effect of cold atmospheric plasma - a partly ionized ...
Cancer 3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
More than half of patients diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) are now surviving the disease thanks to improved diagnosis and treatment, according to a new report1 from Cancer Research UK.
Cancer 3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified a promising target for treating glioblastoma, one that appears to avoid many of the obstacles that typically frustrate efforts ...
Cancer 4 hours ago | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A known difficulty in fighting influenza (flu) is the ability of the flu viruses to mutate and thus evade various medications that were previously found to be effective. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have ...
52 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital found "substantial evidence" that a regenerative process involving damaged nerve fibers in the spinal cord could hold the key to better functional recovery by most stroke victims.
9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
As the human body fine-tunes its neurological wiring, nerve cells often must fix a faulty connection by amputating an axon—the "business end" of the neuron that sends electrical impulses to tissues or other ...
8 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Nervous about that upcoming job interview? You might want to take steps to reduce your jitters, especially if you are a man.
39 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at Lund University have succeeded in preventing very early symptoms of Huntington's disease, depression and anxiety, by deactivating the mutated huntingtin protein in the brains of mice.
26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
22 May 2013, Paris, France: The Lotus Valve, a second-generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) device, was successfully implanted in all of the first 60 patients in results from REPRISE II reported at EuroPCR ...
54 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0