Nav: Home

Researchers reveal new mechanism to 'activate' the immune system against cancer

January 04, 2019

A new mechanism for activating the immune system against cancer cells allows immune cells to detect and destroy cancer cells better than before, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature.

The study was led by Prof. Nick Haining, of Harvard Medical School, and co-authored by Prof. Erez Levanon, doctoral student Ilana Buchumansky, of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University, and an international team.

The focus of the study is a mechanism that routinely serves the cell by marking human virus-like genes in order to avoid identifying them as viruses. Now, Prof. Levanon, together with the Harvard team, has discovered that when inhibiting this mechanism, the immune system can be harnessed to fight cancer cells in a particularly efficient manner, and most effectively in lung cancer and melanoma.

"We found that if the mechanism is blocked, the immune system is much more sensitive. When the mechanism is deactivated, the immune system becomes much more aggressive against the tumor cells," said Levanon.

In recent years, a new generation of cancer drugs has been developed which blocks proteins that inhibit immune activity against malignant tumors. These drugs have shown remarkable success in several tumor types. This year's Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo, who discovered the key genes of this mechanism. Despite this achievement, the current generation of drugs helps only a small number of patients, while most of the drugs fail to cause the immune system to attack the tumor. It is hoped that the new discovery will allow enhanced activity of the immune system to attack cancer cells. A number of companies have already begun research to screen for drugs that will operate on the basis of this discovery.
-end-


Bar-Ilan University

Related Lung Cancer Articles:

AI helps to fight against lung cancer
Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in 2015 in United States.
Free lung-cancer screening in the Augusta area finds more than double the cancer rate of previous screenings
The first year of free lung cancer screening in the Augusta, Ga., area found more than double the rate seen in a previous large, national study as well as a Massachusetts-based screening for this No.
Antioxidants and lung cancer risk
An epidemiological study published in Frontiers in Oncology suggests that a diet high in carotenoids and vitamin C may protect against lung cancer.
Lung cancer may go undetected in kidney cancer patients
Could lung cancer be hiding in kidney cancer patients? Researchers with the Harold C.
Hitgen and Cancer Research UK's Manchester Institute enter license agreement in lung cancer
Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the charity's commercial arm, and HitGen Ltd, a privately held biotech company focused on early drug discovery, announced today that they have entered into a licence agreement to develop a novel class of drugs against lung cancer.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Huntsman Cancer Institute research holds promise for personalized lung cancer treatments
New research from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah uncovered distinct types of tumors within small cell lung cancer that look and act differently from one another.
High levels of estrogen in lung tissue related to lung cancer in postmenopausal women
Researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan have found that postmenopausal women with multicentric adenocarcinoma of the lung have a higher concentration of estrogen in non-cancerous areas of the peripheral lung than similar women diagnosed with single tumor lung cancer.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Pericardial window operation less efficient in cases of lung cancer than any other cancer
Pericardial window operation, a procedure, where abnormal quantity of malignant fluid, surrounding the heart, is drained into the neighbouring chest cavity, is commonly applied to patients diagnosed with cancer.

Related Lung Cancer Reading:

Lung Cancer: Treatment and Research
by Karen L. Reckamp (Editor)

Lung Cancer: A Practical Approach to Evidence-Based Clinical Evaluation and Management
by Lynn T. Tanoue MD (Author), Frank C Detterbeck MD FACS FCCP (Author)

Bonnie J. Addario Navigating Lung Cancer 360 Degrees of Hope
by Bonnie J. Addario (Author), MD, PhD, Shane P. Dormady (Author), RN, MSN, CPHQ, Eileen Johnson (Author), RN, MBA, Alicia Sable-Hunt (Author), Danielle Hicks (Editor), MD, Paul Hesketh (Editor), MD, Robert Sinha (Editor), MD, PhD, D. Ross Camidge (Editor), MD, Elizabeth A. David (Editor), MD, Lisa Boohar (Editor), MD, David R. Gandara (Editor), PhD, Guneet Walia (Editor), Inc., Sheila Von Driska?White Space (Editor)

Lung Cancer: From Diagnosis to Treatment
by Walter Scott MD (Author)

Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally
by Chris Wark (Author)

100 Questions & Answers About Lung Cancer (100 Questions and Answers)
by Joan H. Schiller (Author), Amy Cipau (Author)

How to Survive Lung Cancer - A Practical 12-Step Plan
by Michael Lloyd (Author)

Lung Cancer: Your Questions, Expert Answers
by Joan H. Schiller (Author)

Johns Hopkins Patients' Guide to Lung Cancer
by Justin F. Klamerus (Author), Julie R. Brahmer (Author), David S Ettinger (Author)

Principles and Practice of Lung Cancer: The Official Reference Text of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
by Harvey I. Pass MD (Editor), David P. Carbone MD PhD (Editor), David H. Johnson MD (Editor), John D. Minna MD (Editor), Giorgio V. Scagliotti MD (Editor), Andrew T. Turrisi III MD (Editor)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Approaching With Kindness
We often forget to say the words "thank you." But can those two words change how you — and those around you — look at the world? This hour, TED speakers on the power of gratitude and appreciation. Guests include author AJ Jacobs, author and former baseball player Mike Robbins, Dr. Laura Trice, Professor of Management Christine Porath, and former Danish politician Özlem Cekic.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, about traumatic insemination in bed bugs.