Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Can Cancer Be Turned Against Itself?

05.02.2013
Immune system can use melanoma's own proteins to kill off cancer cells, TAU researchers find

Though a small group of proteins, the family called Ras controls a large number of cellular functions, including cell growth, differentiation, and survival.

And because the protein has a hand in cellular division, mutated Ras, which can be detected in one-third of all tumors, contributes to many human cancers by allowing for the rapid growth of diseased cells.

Now Prof. Yoel Kloog of Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurobiology, along with Dr. Itamar Goldstein of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sheba Medical Center and their students Helly Vernitsky and Dr. Oded Rechavi, has found that oncogenic Ras, which promotes cancer development, can also alert the immune system to the presence of cancer cells.

For the first time, the researchers have shown the transfer of oncogenic Ras in human cells from melanoma cells to T cells, which belong to a group of white blood cells that are part of the immune system. This transfer allows the immune cells to gather crucial intelligence on what they are fighting and develop the necessary cytokines, or signalling molecules, to kill the melanoma cells.

Prof. Kloog suggests that a drug that enhances the transfer of the oncogene from the tumor to the immune cells is a potential therapy to augment the anti-cancer immune response. This research has been published in the Journal of Immunology.

Finding the tipping point

Although they found that immune cells often exchange proteins among themselves, the discovery that melanoma cells transfer mutated Ras is an intriguing first. And it's this initial transfer that begins what the researchers call a positive feedback loop.

In the lab, researchers incubated T-cells from patients with human melanoma cells that had originated from tumors to track the process of handing-off various proteins. They uncovered a circuit that runs between the cancer and immune cells. Once the melanoma cells pass oncogenic Ras to the T-cells, the T-cells are activated and begin to produce cytokines, which enhances their capacity to kill cancer cells.

As these melanoma cells pass along the mutated Ras, the immune cells become increasingly active. Eventually, enough oncogenic material is transferred across the immune cells' threshold, causing the T-cells to act on the melanoma cells from which the oncogenic Ras was derived. Ultimately, this transfer tips the scales in favor of the immune cells, the researchers say.

Exploiting the information transfer

The next step is to develop a therapy that can enhance the transfer in patients with cancers linked to oncogenic Ras, says Prof. Kloog. And although their research has so far focused on melanoma, which is known to elicit the response of the immune system, he believes that this finding could be applicable to other types of cancers.

There is a constant balancing act between cancer cells and the immune system, says Dr. Goldstein. Under normal circumstances, the immune system will kill some cancerous cells on a daily basis. The disease becomes critical when the immune system can no longer keep cancer cells in check. Although there are many theories as to how cancer cells break free of this cycle, scientists are still attempting to discover why this occurs.

Prof. Kloog and Dr. Goldstein hope that this research leads to a better understanding of how the immune system fights tumors. "It's a part of the interaction between cancer and the immune system that is not well known," says Dr. Goldstein. "We are trying to gather more comprehensive data on all the proteins that are being passed around, and how this information impacts the immune system's response to cancer."

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Reward, aversion behaviors activated through same brain pathways
03.09.2015 | Washington University School of Medicine

nachricht Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future
31.08.2015 | Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE entwickelt hochkompakten Wechselrichter für unterbrechungsfreie Stromversorgungen

Bauteile aus Siliziumkarbid ermöglichen Wirkungsgrad von 98,7 Prozent

Forscher des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Solare Energiesysteme ISE haben einen hochkompakten und -effizienten Wechselrichter für die unterbrechungsfreie...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact Inverter for Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Silicon Carbide Components Enable Efficiency of 98.7 percent

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have developed a highly compact and efficient inverter for use in uninterruptible power...

Im Focus: Auffädelung von Nanodiamanten

Kohlenstoffkäfige polymerisieren in Kohlenstoffnanoröhren zu einer linearen nanodiamantenartigen Kette

Im Innenraum von Kohlenstoffnanoröhren gezielt ein lineares Polymer aus nanodiamantenartigen Bausteinen zu gewinnen – das gelang Forschern aus Japan,...

Im Focus: Gassensoren warnen vor Schwelbränden

Rauchmelder sind allgegenwärtig. Dennoch geht die Zahl der Brandopfer jährlich in die Tausende. Brandgasmelder, die auf Kohlenstoffmonoxid und Stickoxide reagieren, entdecken Brände im Frühstadium. Durch ein neues Messprinzip von Fraunhofer-Forschern werden die teuren Sensoren nun kostengünstig und damit bereit für den Massenmarkt.

Die Sterne funkeln am Himmel, die Bewohner des Hauses schlummern in ihren Betten. Soweit nichts Besonderes, doch in dieser Nacht steht ihr Leben auf dem Spiel:...

Im Focus: How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists. The study is the first to explain how the steep-fronted plateau formed.

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

10. LogistikTag Berlin Brandenburg am 10. September 2015 mit dem Schwerpunktthema „Entsorgung“

02.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Wenn Maschinen Bedeutung verstehen ... - Konferenz zu semantischen Technologien

02.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Internationale Baustofftagung in Weimar

02.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Fraunhofer ISE entwickelt hochkompakten Wechselrichter für unterbrechungsfreie Stromversorgungen

03.09.2015 | Energie und Elektrotechnik

Innovative Therapie einer bösartigen Blutstammzell-Erkrankung

03.09.2015 | Medizin Gesundheit

CIMPLEX – Mit dem Smartphone gegen Epidemien

03.09.2015 | Informationstechnologie