Targeting melanoma

Targeting melanoma

University scientists have made a significant advance in their ability to target skin cancer.

Researchers at the School of Medicine are part of a team that has developed an artificially enhanced molecule called a T-cell receptor, derived from a white blood cell that targets and kills melanoma cells.

Working in collaboration with an Oxford-based biotechnology company (Immunocore), scientists at the University were able to solve the molecular structure of the enhanced T-cell receptor, bound to a fragment from a melanoma cell.

The T-cell receptor was engineered to bind to with a 30,000-fold improved affinity using technology developed by partners, Immunocore. Molecular visualisation using X-rays (the technique used to solve the structure of DNA) enabled them to understand how this molecule targets melanoma cells with high specificity and affinity.

Dr David Cole of the Institute of Infection and Immunity at the School of Medicine said:

"We wanted to visualise these novel molecules at the molecular level to better understand how they work. We hope that these experiments will provide the information we need to safely improve these T- to target cancer and other types of human diseases."

Dr Ian Lewis, Associate Director of Research at the Welsh Cancer Charity Tenovus, said;

"We are extremely proud to be associated with this research that seeks to improve the treatment of malignant , one of the most aggressive and increasingly common cancers in the UK.

Related Stories

Fighting cancer

date May 09, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- ‘Hijacking’ cells that normally attack common infections to target cancer instead could offer the body a ready-made army against the killer disease University researchers and ...

Shape-shifting cells help skin cancer spread

date Jun 10, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have discovered genes that control shape changes in melanoma skin cancer cells, allowing them to wriggle free and spread around the body, according to new research published ...

Fast-acting virus targets melanoma in mice

date Jun 17, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Yale researchers eradicated most melanoma tumors by exposing them to a fast-acting virus, they report in the June 15 edition of the Journal of Virology.

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

date Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

date Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

date Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.