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

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

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

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

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

2 hours ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

3 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

4 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

Computer model reveals cancer's energy source

5 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—A computer model study reveals – for the first time – details of an energy-creating process vital and unique to cancer cells. The research holds promise for new interventions and for ...

User comments