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

NCI Scientists Identify Targets for Melanoma Immunotherapy

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have identified seven targets that could potentially be used to develop new immunotherapies for patients with metastatic melanoma.

“We identified seven potential candidate genes that deserve further consideration as targets for melanoma immunotherapy,” said Richard Morgan, Ph.D., staff scientist at the Tumor Immunology Section of the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute (NCI), in Bethesda, Md. “We used NanoString technology because it is very robust, yielding quantitative and extremely reproducible results and, in addition, an antigen expression profile can be constructed for a patient from a very small amount of tumor sample, which makes NanoString a better clinical tool.”

NanoString technology allows for the simultaneous measurement of multiple genes that are expressed in higher amounts in tumor cells than in normal cells. Researchers isolate genetic material called RNA from tumor samples, use this technology to measure the amount of RNAs present in tumors, and compare them with those present in normal tissues. Unlike many other technologies that can be used for this purpose, NanoString can detect and measure the expression levels of the genes in a single step, avoiding errors.
 
“Our laboratory has developed a battery of different antigen receptors to target a wide range of antigens, and we can engineer human immune cells to recognize the targets in patients’ tumors and kill those cells,” said Morgan. “The NCI surgery branch is conducting several clinical trials using this technology to treat a variety of cancers.”

In these clinical trials, the NCI researchers are treating patients with adoptive immunotherapy, a type of cancer treatment that involves “teaching” the immune cells of a patient to locate specific targets on tumor cells and kill those cells. Identification of the right targets present in a patient’s tumor is, therefore, essential for immunotherapy to be successful.

Morgan and colleagues took metastatic melanoma samples from 59 patients, five established melanoma cell lines, and 31 normal tissue samples to profile the excessively expressed genes using NanoString. The researchers identified 67 genes that can be recognized by immune cells as targets on melanoma cells. They subsequently short-listed seven of these genes as ideal candidates because these genes fit the criteria: they were excessively expressed in melanoma tumors and were absent or at low levels in normal tissues, thus targeting them should cause no or minimal toxicity to nontarget organs.

Of these seven genes, five of them, CSAG2, IL13RA2, MAGEA3, MAGEC2, and PRAME, belong to a family called the cancer-testis genes, and the remaining two, CSPG4 and SOX10, are melanoma-related genes. Further investigation is needed before immune cells engineered to target these markers can be used in patients, according to Morgan.

“This is a good example of how newer technologies like NanoString arm cancer researchers and clinicians with the best gear to make tremendous advancements in cancer research and treatment,” said Morgan. His team is currently using this technology to identify immunotherapy targets for pancreatic cancer.


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.


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.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Could Strengthen Airway Immunity
Mold toxins can weaken the airways' clearing mechanisms and immunity, but PKC inhibitors showed promise as a treatment.
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.
Treating Sepsis with Marine Mitochondria
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a marine animal combats bacterial sepsis.
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.
Culex Mosquitoes Do Not Transmit Zika
A study of the Culex species mosquito appears to show that the species does not transmit Zika virus.
Molecular Switch Aids Immune Therapy
Researchers identify strategy to maximise effectiveness of immune therapy through molecular switch controlling immune suppression.
Bacteria Use Ranking Strategy to Fight Off Viruses
Researchers have explained why microbes store virus confrontation information sequentially, with most recent attacks first.
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!