Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have successfully identified a molecule, which could be deployed as a vaccination agent in future to stop growing cancers. The findings of the study, which is so far based on animal experiments, appears in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers at KI and Leiden University Medical Centre in Holland jointly conducted the study.
"So far we've only conducted research on mice, so it's too early to get out hopes up too much," said research scientist Elisabeth Wolpert at the Microbiology and Tumour Biology Centre. "However, the study does point towards new possible ways of developing a treatment for advanced tumour diseases." The research focused on the immune cell called T cell, which can detect defects in cells that allow tumor cells to bypass the T-cell mediated immune response. The researchers were able to screen a a short peptide molecule that the T cell detects. The reserachers say that this could prove useful in vaccinations for preventing the spread of tumors to different tissues, a process that is called metastasis. Such tumors include melanoma, colon cancer, lymphoma, and fibrosarcoma. This study is the sequel to the original discovery that first identified the TEIPP-T cell and that was presented in Ms Wolpert's doctoral thesis at Karolinska Institutet in 1998.
Publication: Selective cytotoxic T-lymphocyte targeting of tumor immune escape variants, Nature Medicine, AOP (online edition), Thorbald van Hall, Elisabeth Wolpert, Peter van Veelen, Klas Kärre, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Cornelis JM Melief, Rienk Offringa, et al
Contact: Katarina Sternudd