T cell response to new melanoma antigen linked to relapse-free survival

October 20, 2008,

Melanoma patients infused with a special type of tumor-fighting T cell are more likely to survive without relapse, suggests a new study by researchers in France. Their report will be published online on October 20 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

One treatment option for patients with late-stage melanoma involves removing natural cancer-fighting T cells from the tumor, expanding their numbers in culture dishes, and then re-infusing them into the patient. This strategy—called adoptive immunotherapy— causes tumor regression in about half the patients treated, some of whom survive for decades without relapse.

The French team, lead by Dr. Nathalie Labarriere, studied the infused cells from 30 stage III melanoma patients who had received adoptive immunotherapy between 1994 and 1998. Among the cells taken from a patient who has remained tumor-free for more than a decade, they found naturally-arising T cells that recognized a new protein, which they dubbed "meloe-1." Meloe-1, the group found, is highly expressed in melanoma cells but not in normal skin cells or in other types of cancer.

When they looked at the transferred cells from the other patients, they found meloe-1-specific T cells in 5 of the 9 patients who remained relapse-free, but in none of the 21 patients who relapsed. The association of meloe-1-specific T cells with relapse-free survival suggests that amplifying these T cells in culture may be one way to improve the efficacy of adoptive immunotherapy. The team has also succeeded in finding meloe-1 T cells in patients' circulating blood—a much more accessible source than tumor tissue.

Source: Rockefeller University

Explore further: Presurgical targeted therapy delays relapse of high-risk stage 3 melanoma

Related Stories

Presurgical targeted therapy delays relapse of high-risk stage 3 melanoma

January 17, 2018
A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a six-fold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage 3 disease, researchers at ...

Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system

January 16, 2018
system, which enables these deadly skin cancers to grow and spread.

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

Who might benefit from immunotherapy? New study suggests possible marker

January 16, 2018
While immunotherapy has made a big impact on cancer treatment, the fact remains that only about a quarter of patients respond to these treatments.

Smart insulin patch may aid future therapies

January 18, 2018
A smart insulin patch, once translated for humans, could eliminate the need for constant blood testing and help diabetics maintain a more consistent level of blood glucose.

Scientists identify potential target genes to halt progression of thyroid cancer

January 19, 2018
Thyroid cancer is a disease with good cure rates in most cases. In 5 percent of patients, however, the tumor becomes refractory to the available therapies and may spread all over the body, causing death.

Recommended for you

Forces from fluid in the developing lung play an essential role in organ development

January 23, 2018
It is a marvel of nature: during gestation, multiple tissue types cooperate in building the elegantly functional structures of organs, from the brain's folds to the heart's multiple chambers. A recent study by Princeton researchers ...

More surprises about blood development—and a possible lead for making lymphocytes

January 22, 2018
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have long been regarded as the granddaddy of all blood cells. After we are born, these multipotent cells give rise to all our cell lineages: lymphoid, myeloid and erythroid cells. Hematologists ...

How metal scaffolds enhance the bone healing process

January 22, 2018
A new study shows how mechanically optimized constructs known as titanium-mesh scaffolds can optimize bone regeneration. The induction of bone regeneration is of importance when treating large bone defects. As demonstrated ...

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 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.