New strategy to tackle 'don't eat me' signal on cancer cells
Myeloid immune cells kill cancer cells by eating them but cancer cells prevent this from happening by giving out a 'do not eat me' signal. In a collaborative effort, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Oncode, Leiden University Medical Center and University Medical Center Utrecht have discovered a new method to inhibit the 'don't eat me' signal, and have therefore found a new strategy for immunotherapy.
On 4 March 2019, the researchers published an article on this topic in the scientific journal > Nature Medicine. Another publication you find in> Medicalxpress
Two patients HIV-free after stem cell transplantation
Researchers are one step closer to the cure for HIV. In two patients, the virus could no longer be found after they had stopped virus inhibitors. Both patients were treated for cancer by means of a stem cell transplant. The cells used for this transplant ensure that these patients are now HIV-free.
Researchers from IciStem investigated the effects of stem cell transplantation on HIV. In this study, HIV patients were treated for cancer. A part of this treatment was stem cell transplantation. With such a transplant, the immune system is replaced with the help of donor stem cells. The transplanted stem cells then ensure the formation of new blood cells. Virologist dr. Anne Wensing of UMC Utrecht is one of the main researchers at IciStem. She says: "The stem cell transplant was part of the treatment of cancer. In addition, we measured the effect of stem cell transplantation on HIV. "
Investigator Marianne Boes receives grant for research into lymph node cancer vaccine
Investigator Marianne Boes from UMC Utrecht received a check of more than 300,000 euros from prince Bernhard van Oranje during the “Hollandse 100”, a sporting event aiming to raise funds for research into lymph node cancer. With the proceeds, Marianne will conduct research into a new form of immune therapy against this disease.
Dr. Marianne Boes (Laboratory for Translational Immunology at UMC Utrecht) is investigating the possibility to develop a vaccine that can treat lymph node cancer. This type of treatment is already under investigation for several types of cancer, but not yet for lymph node cancer. Boes and her colleagues are looking for pieces of tumor cells that are not on healthy lymph node cells. These pieces can then be injected into the patient, causing the immune system to attack and clean up the tumor. For this research, the UMC Utrecht group collaborates with researchers including dr. Friederike Meyer-Wentrup from the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. The goal is to develop vaccines for various forms of lymph node cancer in both adults and children.
“Het zijn boekhouders; kritiek op het Nederlandse vaccinatiebeleid”
“H.I.V. Is Reported Cured in a Second Patient, a Milestone in the Global AIDS Epidemic”
Anne Wensing (NYTimes.com)
“A H.I.V. cure: answers to 4 key questions”
Anne Wensing (NYTimes.com)
“Verfijnde diagnose luchtweginfecties in kinderen in zicht”
Debbie Bogaert and Lieke Sanders (telegraaf.nl)
“Drie patiënten nu hiv-vrij na ingreep”
Monique Nijhuis and Anne Wensing (Telegraaf)
“Weerbaar tegen superbugs”
Marc Bonten, Valentijn Schweitzer and Wouter Rottier (Elsevier)
“Enthousiaste reacties op reumamiddel Galapagos”
Jaap van Laar (Financieele Dagblad)
“Twee 'genezingen' helpen hiv niet direct de wereld uit”
Anne Wensing (Nieuws&Co, NPO Radio 1)
“Stamcel- behandeling geneest hiv patient”
Ger Rijkers (De Ochtendspits, BNR)
“Marit (12) en Zaïra (12) willen Nederlands onderzoek faagtherapie”
Marc Bonten (Hart van Nederland, SBS6)
“Tweede hiv-patient genezen: dit geeft hoop”
Anne Wensing and Monique Nijhuis (RTL Nieuws, RTL4)
“Volledige genezing hiv in zicht?”
Anne Wensing (Nieuwsuur, NPO 2)
Various research centers from all over the world are working on immune therapy. In the development of this, methods are being sought to have the immune system combat tumors in a targeted manner with minimal damage to healthy tissue. For this, use is often made of T cells, for example CAR-T cell therapy. T cells belong to the white blood cells and play a central role in the immune system. Cancer patients lack these immune cells or are inhibited.
Living material The core of the treatment developed at UMC Utrecht is an innovative medicine made from living material from the patient himself. The production of this takes place in a period of three weeks: T cells from a patient are processed in the laboratory. A healthy gene is placed in the DNA of these cells. After processing, the patient is injected with these TEG001 cells. TEG stands for T-cells Engineered to express a defined Gamma/delta T cell receptor.
Cell and gene therapy The gene of the TEG001 cells encodes a tumor-specific receptor isolated from so-called gamma/delta T cells from a healthy person, which looks for tumor cells with disrupted metabolism. With the receptor on its cell, TEG001 cells recognize and kill cancer cells. The special feature about this is that it is a personalized cellular drug, based on the patient's own immune cells and established with a combination of cell and gene therapy. It is tailor-made for each patient.
More patients This extraordinary result has been achieved by working within the hospital with a large team that transcends different divisions and in which research, care, diagnostics and the Cell Therapy Facility of the pharmacy come together under the supervision of hematologist Moniek de Witte, researcher Trudy Straetemans and project manager Anna van Muyden. Now that the process for the first patient has been safe and successful, another nine patients will be treated in this phase I study in the coming months. The results are then evaluated. At present, only treated patients with Kahler's disease and acute myeloid leukemia are eligible for this therapy. The expectation is that in the future with this T-cell therapy due to the broad recognition of hematological and solid tumors many more patients can be treated.
Last month the first cancer patient was treated with a gene and cell therapy developed at UMC Utrecht. This form of immunotherapy is currently being administered to treated patients with Kahler's disease and acute myeloid leukemia. The purpose of this first phase is primarily to investigate whether TEG001 cells can be administered safely. This has now been achieved with the first patient. The dose at this stage of the study is probably too low to actually be therapeutic. The researchers hope that the malignant cells will be (temporarily) inhibited.
First patient receives gene and cell therapy developed at UMC Utrecht