Novel gene therapy enables persistent anti-tumor immune response

October 9, 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
©2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Cancer immunotherapy can successfully use the body's own immune system to kill tumor cells. But some current approaches to stimulate an antitumor immune response are short-lived, with limited clinical effectiveness. A new gene transfer strategy that introduces modified, immune-stimulating human stem cells is both feasible and effective for achieving persistent immunotherapy to treat leukemias and lymophomas, according to a study published in Human Gene Therapy.

Satiro Nakamura De Oliveira and coauthors from the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, describe the method they developed to deliver chimeric antigen receptors, or CARS, that direct the immune system to target derived from B-lymphocytes.

In the article "Modification of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells with CD19-specific Chimeric Antigen Receptors as a Novel Approach for Cancer Immunotherapy" the authors show that by packaging the CARS in human hematopoietic , the immunotherapeutic receptors will be produced in the bloodstream for a long period of time. This persistent expression should improve their effectiveness in the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

"This study represents an interesting new direction for an approach that has generated substantial interest," says Dr. Wilson, Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Explore further: Some immune cells appear to aid cancer cell growth, study finds

More information: The article is available on the Human Gene Therapy website.

Related Stories

Some immune cells appear to aid cancer cell growth, study finds

September 5, 2013
The immune system is normally known for protecting the body from illness. But a subset of immune cells appear to be doing more harm than good.

New anti-tumor cell therapy strategies are more effective

October 25, 2012
Targeted T-cells can seek out and destroy tumor cells that carry specific antigen markers. Two novel anti-tumor therapies that take advantage of this T-cell response are described in articles published in Human Gene Therapy, ...

Stem cells, potential source of cancer-fighting T cells

September 20, 2011
Adult stem cells from mice converted to antigen-specific T cells -- the immune cells that fight cancer tumor cells -- show promise in cancer immunotherapy and may lead to a simpler, more efficient way to use the body's immune ...

Adoptive cell transfer: New technique could make cell-based immune therapies for cancer safer, more effective

December 16, 2012
A team led by Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has shown for the first time the effectiveness of a new technique that could allow the development ...

Scientists identify targets for melanoma immunotherapy

September 10, 2013
Using a highly sensitive technology called NanoString, researchers have identified seven targets that could potentially be used to develop new immunotherapies for patients with metastatic melanoma, according to a study published ...

Engineered T cells kill tumors but spare normal tissue in an animal model

April 7, 2013
The need to distinguish between normal cells and tumor cells is a feature that has been long sought for most types of cancer drugs. Tumor antigens, unique proteins on the surface of a tumor, are potential targets for a normal ...

Recommended for you

Peers' genes may help friends stay in school, new study finds

January 18, 2018
While there's scientific evidence to suggest that your genes have something to do with how far you'll go in school, new research by a team from Stanford and elsewhere says the DNA of your classmates also plays a role.

A centuries-old math equation used to solve a modern-day genetics challenge

January 18, 2018
Researchers developed a new mathematical tool to validate and improve methods used by medical professionals to interpret results from clinical genetic tests. The work was published this month in Genetics in Medicine.

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

January 18, 2018
A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer.

Group recreates DNA of man who died in 1827 despite having no body to work with

January 16, 2018
An international team of researchers led by a group with deCODE Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Iceland, has partly recreated the DNA of a man who died in 1827, despite having no body to take tissue samples from. ...

Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors

January 16, 2018
Scientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have expanded the search for genetic links from identifying genes toward epigenetics, the study of factors that control gene expression ...

The surprising role of gene architecture in cell fate decisions

January 16, 2018
Scientists read the code of life—the genome—as a sequence of letters, but now researchers have also started exploring its three-dimensional organisation. In a paper published in Nature Genetics, an interdisciplinary research ...

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.