Good prospects for drug/radiation combo

It was a mistery: Why didn't drugs which boost the tumor-killing power of immune cells in lab do well in clincal trials? Now researchers from Rockefeller University describe a way to enhance the ability of these drugs by combining them with radiation therapy.

Drug/radiation combo may help shrink established tumours.
Drug/radiation combo may help shrink established tumours.

The immune system’s tumor-fighting T cells work best when maximally activated. Scientists have achieved this by blocking molecules that dampen the cells’ activation, or by removing a population of regulatory T cells that block killing ability of tumor-specific T cells. But neither approach has worked well in patients with established tumors.

Combining these two approaches, a new study published online on August 25th in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, caused small tumors to shrink but had no effect on large tumors. This finding suggested that some quality of large tumors makes them resistant to T cell killing.

Indeed,  blood vessels around large tumors lacked proteins required for killer T cells to crawl out of the circulation and into the tumor. Combining the T cell-boosting treatment with radiation therapy – which has been shown to increase the expression of these vessel proteins – was effective in shrinking also large tumors. It remains to be seen whether combining radiation therapy with T cell-boosting drugs will be effective in humans.

26.08.2008

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Stem cell regeneration

Drug accelerates recovery after chemo, radiation

A drug developed by US physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem cells after exposure to radiation. If the results can be replicated in humans, the…

Photo

Endovascular brachytherapy

Endovascular brachytherapy has been successfully modified by scientists at Isotopen Technologie München AG (ITM), solving problems of radiation exposure to Rhenium-188. The researchers are now…

Photo

SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

When a cell is infected, SARS-CoV-2 not only causes the host cell to produce new virus particles. The virus also suppresses host cell defence mechanisms. The virus protein nsP3 plays a central role…

Related products

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter