Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Unexpected Use of Former Cancer Drug

Published: Friday, September 06, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, September 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have unexpectedly discovered that an old cancer drug can be used to prevent rejection of transplanted tissue.

The researchers now have high hopes that their discovery could lead to new treatments for both transplant patients and patients with autoimmune diseases.

The researchers behind the study, which has been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, work at the Rausing Laboratory, Lund University, where they have conducted research on brain tumours over many years.

“Our group were studying the effects of the old tumour drug Zebularine, developed in the USA in the 1960s, and by chance we discovered that it had completely unexpected effects on the immune system”, says Leif Salford, Senior Professor of Neurosurgery.

“It turned out that Zebularine has the ability to subdue the reaction of the body’s immune system. This could be important in situations where tissue or organs are transplanted. We also think it could be used to curb the body’s attacks on its own tissue in autoimmune diseases, for instance type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis”, says Dr Nittby.

In studies on animals, the researchers used rats that were made diabetic. The researchers transplanted the islets of Langerhans – cell groups in the pancreas producing insulin – from healthy rats from another kind of rat into those with diabetes. The diabetic rats were divided into two groups; one group were treated with Zebularine and the other, the control group, did not receive any treatment. The diabetic rats that were treated with Zebularine survived for a significantly longer period than the untreated rats.

“It is very interesting that we only treated them with Zebularine for two weeks, but the effects of the treatment could be observed throughout the 90-day follow-up period.

“The findings are very exciting and are a sign that the immune system was not just generally suppressed, but that the treatment was more targeted. Neither did we see any signs of side-effects”, said Dr Nittby.

The researchers are now working intensively to further refine the treatment. The next step is to teach certain cells in the immune system – the dendritic cells – to accept certain specific proteins using the Zebularine treatment.

This would mean that the treatment could be targeted even more.

“If we succeed with that, we believe it could be of clinical significance both to prevent rejection of transplanted organs and to stop the body attacking its own tissue in autoimmune diseases. If this becomes a reality, I hope large groups of patients could be spared the lifelong treatment that is currently necessary to keep the immune system in check”, says Professor Salford.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Mucus – the First Line of Defence
Researchers reveal the important role of mucus in building a good defence against invaders.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Antibodies Paving the Way to HIV Vaccine
Researchers uncover factors responsible for the formation of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies in humans.
Vaccine Against Common Cold Achievable
Researchers suggest that a vaccine against rhinoviruses is possible using variant virus vaccines.
Iron Nanoparticles Make Immune Cells Attack Cancer
Researchers accidentally discover that nanoparticles invented for anemia treatment can trigger the immune system’s ability to destroy tumor cells.
Uncovering Cancer’s ‘Invisibility Cloak’
Researchers discover cancer cell mechanism to become invisible to the body's immune system.
Treating Sepsis with Marine Mitochondria
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a marine animal combats bacterial sepsis.
Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika
A study of the Culex species mosquito appears to show that the species does not transmit Zika virus.
Bacteria Use Ranking Strategy to Fight Off Viruses
Researchers have explained why microbes store virus confrontation information sequentially, with most recent attacks first.
Molecular Switch Aids Immune Therapy
Researchers identify strategy to maximise effectiveness of immune therapy through molecular switch controlling immune suppression.
Reprogramming Lymph Nodes to Fight MS
Bioengineers work to reprogram lymph node function to fight multiple sclerosis.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!