Heart medication converts cancer cells into vaccine

July 23, 2012
Heart medication converts cancer cells into vaccine
A class of heart medications, cardiac glycosides, can induce immunogenic cell death, whereby dying cancer cells are converted into a vaccine that stimulates antitumor response, according to a study published in the July 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

(HealthDay) -- A class of heart medications, cardiac glycosides, can induce immunogenic cell death (ICD), whereby dying cancer cells are converted into a vaccine that stimulates antitumor response, according to a study published in the July 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Laurie Menger, from INSERM U848 in Villejuif, France, and colleagues developed and used an automated epifluorescence microscopy-based platform to identify inducers of ICD.

The researchers found that cardiac glycosides were potent inducers of ICD, and this effect correlated with inhibition of sodium and potassium-dependent adenosine triphosphatase. Their anti-cancer effect was observed in combination with DNA-damaging agents only in immunocompetent mice, and cancer cells treated with chemotherapy and cardiac glycosides were effective as a vaccine in mice challenged with live of the same type. In addition, a retrospective analysis of 145 cancer patients treated with a cardiac glycoside and 290 cancer patients who did not receive the drug showed improved five-year survival in patients treated with the cardiac glycoside (hazard ratio, 0.62).

"It will be interesting to determine the ICD-inducing capacity of large collections of to identify new drugs that elicit an immunological bystander effect," Menger and colleagues write. "Moreover, in the pipeline of drug discovery, it might be advisable to decide on the clinical development of compounds that share target and mechanism of action based on their (perhaps differential) ICD-stimulatory capacity."

Several of the authors hold a patent related to the study.

Explore further: Certain heart meds may give chemo a boost

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Certain heart meds may give chemo a boost

July 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- When common heart drugs such as digitalis and digoxin are combined with some chemotherapy drugs, the effect appears to be an increase in the death of cancer cells, according to French researchers.

Chronic right ventricular pacing works for ICD patients with left ventricular dysfunction

March 26, 2012
Cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillators (CRT-D) is appropriate for patients who have left ventricular dysfunction and require chronic ventricular pacing, based on the findings of an observational study that ...

Patients are living longer with ICDs, but pacing impacts survival rates

August 28, 2011
The adverse effect of right ventricular pacing on implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patient survival is sustained long-term; however, the impact appears to be mitigated by cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), ...

Cancer stem cell vaccine in development shows antitumor effect

April 2, 2012
Scientists may have discovered a new paradigm for immunotherapy against cancer by priming antibodies and T cells with cancer stem cells, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association ...

Recommended for you

CAR-T immunotherapy may help blood cancer patients who don't respond to standard treatments

October 20, 2017
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved ...

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

One to 10 mutations are needed to drive cancer, scientists find

October 19, 2017
For the first time, scientists have provided unbiased estimates of the number of mutations needed for cancers to develop, in a study of more than 7,500 tumours across 29 cancer types. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger ...

New study reveals breast cancer cells recycle their own ammonia waste as fuel

October 19, 2017
Breast cancer cells recycle ammonia, a waste byproduct of cell metabolism, and use it as a source of nitrogen to fuel tumor growth, report scientists from Harvard Medical School in the journal Science.

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.