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

Researchers identify gene variants linked to a high-risk children's cancer

September 25, 2017
Pediatric researchers investigating the childhood cancer neuroblastoma have identified common gene variants that raise the risk of an aggressive form of that disease. The discovery may assist doctors in better diagnosing ...

Prostaglandin E1 inhibits leukemia stem cells

September 25, 2017
Two drugs, already approved for safe use in people, may be able to improve therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a blood cancer that affects myeloid cells, according to results from a University of Iowa study in mice.

Cancer vaccines need to target T cells that can persist in the long fight against cancer

September 25, 2017
Cancer vaccines may need to better target T cells that can hold up to the long fight against cancer, scientists report.

Lung cancer treatment could be having negative health effect on hearts

September 25, 2017
Radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer could have a negative effect on the health of your heart new research has found.

MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer

September 25, 2017
A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent being tested by researchers at Case Western Reserve University not only pinpoints breast cancers at early stages but differentiates between aggressive and slow-growing ...

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

September 22, 2017
Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death. Thanks to the advances ...

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.