A new strategy against pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, but pancreatic tumors are particularly malignant and are responsible for many cancer deaths. Researchers are now reporting a new way to combat this type of cancer.
Like the Cancer Information Service of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) website He writes, about 19,000 people fall ill in Germany each year Pancreas cancer (Pancreas cancer). Because symptoms rarely occur in the early stages of the disease, most sufferers receive their diagnosis at an advanced stage. Treatment depends on the extent of the tumor and the patient’s health condition. Experts are now reporting a new treatment strategy.
One of the deadliest tumors
current Message According to Ludwig Maximilians University Hospital (LMU), pancreatic tumor is one of the deadliest of all – and therefore it is particularly intensively researched.
Now a team led by Professor Sebastian Kobold from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the LMU Klinikum in Munich has found a way to combat this cancer effectively, at least in the lab.
The researchers’ findings were recently published in the journal “The nature of biomedical engineeringChest.
Little chance of survival
According to experts, anyone who develops a tumor in the pancreas still has a slim chance. Five years after diagnosis, only 10 percent of patients are still alive, despite all medical efforts.
Not discouraged, researchers continue to search for new treatments that would improve the predicament. Sebastian Kobold explains: “Immunotherapy is treated like hot iron in the fire, and we know from preclinical work that T cells in the immune system can be very effective in fighting tumors.”
With emphasis on the word “can”. Because in order for these defensive cells to be effective, they must first reach the area of the tumor and then be able to penetrate the actual cancer cells. But this is exactly where the problem lies.
Because, as shown in the communication, pancreatic cancer cells are surrounded on the one hand by a stroma that is difficult to penetrate. On the other hand, these cells send a reporter substance called CXCL16.
CXCL16 attracts a group of immune cells that prevents the cancer from attacking it rather than releasing it. However, the population of T cells that could theoretically fight a tumor lacked the receptors that could respond to CXCL16 signaling with an attack.
Modifying T cells using genetic engineering الهندسة
If not, use genetic engineering to modify T cells so that they produce the missing receptor. That’s exactly what Kobold’s research team did. The scientists used so-called CAR-T cells for this.
CAR-T stands for “chimeric antigen receptor T cells”. The name describes the genetic modifications that turn T cells into tumor killers.
In order for immune cells to recognize cancer cells, experts use genetic engineering to create a type of antenna on the surface of T cells, which recognizes a very special molecule on the surface of cancer cells according to the lock-and-key principle. . With the help of this antenna, the pimping T cells track down the enemies, stick to them, and eventually destroy them.
In order to specifically target pancreatic tumor cells, the Munich researchers also incorporated a gene for the missing receptor into CAR T cells. With a resounding effect: “In all laboratory tests, CAR-T cells processed in this way found their target and attacked pancreatic tumor tumor cells,” Kobold says. “.
Motivated by their findings, scientists began preparing for extended clinical trials. First of all, it is about the production of adapted CAR-T cells in a way that meets all the requirements of the authorities.
Preparations for clinical studies, which are indispensable for use on humans, also act in parallel. The doctor explains, “In a few years, we will then know whether or not our hopes for a new treatment for pancreatic tumors will come true.” (Ad)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, clinical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
- LMU Klinikum München: A New Strategy Against Pancreatic Cancer, (Accessed: 06.06.2021), LMU Clinic in Munich
- Stephanie Leech, Victoria Blumenberg, […]Sebastian Kobold: CXC chemoreceptor type 6 armed T cells promote adoptive cell therapy for pancreatic tumors; In: Nature Biomedical Engineering, (veröffentlicht: 03.06.2021), The nature of biomedical engineering
- German Cancer Research Center Cancer Information Service: Pancreatic Cancer (access: 06.06.2021), Cancer Information Service
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.