Tuesday March 26, 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

Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

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While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)