Monday December 16, 2019

Research: Two-headed Arrow Efficient For Killing The Ovarian Cancer

Further, the approach also avoids toxicity issues that have plagued previous antibody therapies

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

Researchers, led by an Indian origin, have developed a two fisted, antibody approach that can effectively destroy ovarian cancer — the deadliest gynecological disease — and could also be utilised to kill breast, prostate and other solid tumours.

According to Jogender Tushir-Singh from the University of Virginia’s (UVA), a major problem with immune therapies for ovarian cancer is that the immune cells intended to kill the cancer cells could not infiltrate the solid tumour bed effectively.

So he engineered an antibody that he likens to a “two-headed arrow”.

One head of this dual pronged “arrow” strikes what is known as the death receptor on the cancer cells, forcing them to die, while the other head strikes a receptor known as FOLR1, a well established marker that suggests a poor prognosis.

“There are a lot of efforts in terms of cancer immune therapy, but the success of these are really limited in solid tumours,” Tushir-Singh said.

“I found that one of the problems is with the solid tumour microenvironment.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“The microenvironment is highly hypoxic, anergic and, particularly in the case of ovarian cancer, some unusually large receptors form a protective fence around tumour cells, so even if the immune cells reach there, there are many obstacles,” he explained.

The newly engineered antibodies are over 100 times more effective at killing cancer cells than the antibodies that have made it to clinical trials.

Further, the approach also avoids toxicity issues that have plagued previous antibody therapies.

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“Liver toxicity has been the biggest problem for a lot of antibodies — they are taken out of the blood too fast and accumulate where not needed,” Tushir-Singh said.

“But by providing a good home for the antibodies in the tumour, we are keeping these antibodies away from the liver,” he noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Saliva Test can Detect Oropharyngeal Cancer

Saliva test can detect mouth, throat cancer early

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cancer
Saliva test shows promise for earlier and easier detection of mouth and throat cancer. Pixabay

A non-invasive saliva test can detect human papilloma virus-16 — the strain associated with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) — showing promise for earlier and easier detection of mouth and throat cancer, report researchers.

The novel technique detected OPC in whole saliva in 40 per cent of patients tested and 80 per cent of confirmed OPC patients.

OPC has an approximate incidence of 115,000 cases per year worldwide and is one of the fastest-rising cancers owing to increasing HPV-related incidence, especially in younger patients.

“It is paramount that surveillance methods are developed to improve early detection and outcomes,” said co-lead investigator Tony Jun Huang from Duke University in the US.

Cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams.

saliva test cancer
Cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced. Pixabay

“The successful detection of HPV from salivary exosomes isolated by our acoustofluidic platform offers distinct advantages, including early detection, risk assessment and screening,” added Dr Huang in a paper published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

This technique may also help physicians predict which patients will respond well to radiation therapy or achieve longer progression-free survival.

In the study, investigators analyzed saliva samples from 10 patients diagnosed with HPV-OPC using traditional methods.

They found that the technique identified the tumour biomarker in 80 per cent of the cases when coupled with the traditional detection method called droplet digital PCR.

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“The saliva exosome liquid biopsy is an effective early detection and risk assessment approach for OPC,” said co-lead investigator David TW Wong from University of California-Los Angeles.

According to the researchers, this technology can also be used to analyze other biofluids such as blood, urine and plasma. (IANS)