Targeted Protein Toxin Effective Against Persistent Brain Tumors

November 24, 1997

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have developed a new drug that can reduce the size of some persistent brain tumors without causing severe side effects. A report of the first clinical trial of this drug, called transferrin-CRM107, will appear in the December 1997 issue of Nature Medicine.

In the clinical trial(1), researchers led by Edward H. Oldfield, M.D., of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), used a special pressurized pump to deliver transferrin-CRM107 directly to the tumor. This drug is a compound created by linking diphtheria toxin to a protein called transferrin that targets rapidly growing cells such as tumor cells. Nine of the 15 patients who were evaluated after this treatment had reductions in tumor size, and the tumor disappeared completely in two patients. While these results are promising, much more work remains before the drug may be ready for market approval.

In a related study in the same issue of Nature Medicine,(2) NINDS investigators led by Dr. Oldfield and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute report on the first clinical trial of another new therapy, which uses virus-producing cells to deliver a herpes virus gene that increases tumor cells' sensitivity to the antiviral drug ganciclovir. The patients were later treated with ganciclovir to kill the tumor cells. However, this therapy worked only against very small tumors in four of the 15 patients who were evaluated.

The NINDS, one of the National Institutes of Health located in Bethesda, Maryland, supports a variety of research focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. It is the nation's leading supporter of research on the brain and nervous system and a lead agency for the Congressionally designated Decade of the Brain.
-end-



(1) Laske, D.W.; Youle, R.J.; Oldfield, E.H. "Tumor regression with regional distribution of the targeted toxin TF-CRM107 in patients with malignant brain tumors." Nature Medicine, Vol. 3, No. 12, December 1997, pp. 1362-1368.

(2) Ram, Z.; Culver, K.W.; Oshiro, E.M.; Viola, J.J.; DeVroom, H.L.; Otto, E.; Long, Z.; Chiang, Y.; McGarrity, G.J.; Muul, L.M.; Katz, D.; Blaese, R.M.; Oldfield, E.H. "Therapy of malignant brain tumors by intratumoral implantation of retroviral vector producing cells to transfer the herpes simplex-thymidine kinase gene and intravenous ganciclovir." Nature Medicine, Vol. 3, No. 12, December 1997, pp. 1354-1361.

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Related Tumor Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

A more sensitive way to detect circulating tumor cells
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, and metastasis from the breast to other areas of the body is the leading cause of death in these patients.

Cancer researchers train white blood cells to attacks tumor cells
Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) and Dresden University Medicine, together with an international team of researchers, were able to demonstrate that certain white blood cells, so-called neutrophil granulocytes, can potentially - after completing a special training program -- be utilized for the treatment of tumors.

How to prevent the spread of tumor cells via the lymph vessels
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the Mannheim Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg identified a new way to block the dangerous spread of tumor cells via lymphatic vessels.

The CNIO reprograms CRISPR system in mice to eliminate tumor cells without affecting healthy cells
CNIO researchers destroyed Ewing's sarcoma and chronic myeloid leukaemia tumor cells by using CRISPR to cut out the fusion genes that cause them.

Feeding off fusion or the immortalization of tumor cells
Despite all recent progress, cancer remains one of the deadliest human diseases.

How do tumor cells divide in the crowd?
Scientists led by Dr. Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich, group leader at the Excellence Cluster Physics of Life (PoL) and the Biotechnology Center TU Dresden (BIOTEC) studied how cancer cells are able to divide in a crowded tumor tissue and connected it to the hallmark of cancer progression and metastasis, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).

How tumor cells evade the immune defense
Scientists are increasingly trying to use the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.

New pathway to attack tumor cells identified
A study led by the Institut de Neurociències (INc-UAB) describes a new strategy to tackle cancer, based on inducing a potent stress in tumor causing cell destruction by autophagy.

Nutrient deficiency in tumor cells attracts cells that suppress the immune system
A study led by IDIBELL researchers and published this week in the American journal PNAS shows that, by depriving tumor cells of glucose, they release a large number of signaling molecules.

Read More: Tumor Cells News and Tumor Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.