November 14, 2022 — Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a nanotechnology platform that changes the immune system’s perception of solid tumor cells, making them more receptive to immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy can work well for blood cancers but has less success on solid tumors. The signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family member 7 (SLAMF7) receptor is critical in activating the body’s immune cells against cancer cells via an “eat me” signal. This receptor is found on blood cancer cell surfaces but not on solid tumor cells, making it a target for the researchers’ immune conversion approach.
To promote SLAMF7 expression on solid tumor cells, the researchers developed their bispecific tumor-transforming nanoconjugate (BiTN) platform. One molecule on this nanosystem binds to the targeted tumor cell surface; a second molecule activates an immune response.
The research team used BiTN with SLAMF7 and a HER2-recognizing antibody to target HER2-positive breast cancer cells. The nanoconjugate successfully attached SLAMF7 to the breast cancer cells, resulting in phagocytosis, or ingestion, by immune cells. The approach also sensitized breast cancer cells to an anti-CD47 antibody treatment, which blocks “don’t eat me” signals from tumor cells, further increasing solid tumor response. This adaptable immune conversion approach may have broad applications across many cancers.
“If we are able to translate and validate this approach in the clinic, it may enable us to get closer to the maximum level of activity from immunotherapy drugs with cancers that have not traditionally responded well,” co-author Dr. Wen Jiang, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in a statement.
Nasal Vaccines: Stopping the COVID-19 Virus Before It Reaches the Lungs
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines have played a large role in preventing deaths and severe infections from COVID-19. But researchers are still in the process of developing alternative approaches to vaccines to improve [...]
NASA Tracking a Huge, Growing Anomaly in Earth’s Magnetic Field – with video
NASA is actively monitoring a strange anomaly in Earth's magnetic field: a giant region of lower magnetic intensity in the skies above the planet, stretching out between South America and southwest Africa. This vast, developing [...]
New, Better Models Show How Infectious Diseases Like COVID-19 Spread
Infectious diseases such as COVID-19 can spread rapidly across the globe. Models that can predict how such diseases spread will strengthen national surveillance systems and improve public health decision-making. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the [...]
Human Antibodies Discovered That Can Block Multiple Coronaviruses Including COVID-19
Results from a Scripps Research and UNC team pave the way for a vaccine and therapeutic antibodies that could be stockpiled to fight future coronavirus pandemics. A team of scientists from Scripps Research and [...]
Nanotechnology could be used to treat lymphedema
The human body is made up of thousands of tiny lymphatic vessels that ferry white blood cells and proteins around the body, like a superhighway of the immune system. It's remarkably efficient, but if [...]
DNA Nanotechnology Tools – From Design to Applications
Suite of DNA nanotechnology devices engineered to overcome specific bottlenecks in the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and understanding of molecular structures. DNA nanostructures with their potential for cell and tissue permeability, biocompatibility, and [...]
Regenerating bone with deer antler stem cells
Scientists from a collection of Chinese research institutions collaborated on a study of organ regeneration in mammals, finding deer antler blastema progenitor cells are a possible source of conserved regeneration cells in higher vertebrates. [...]
AI Takes On Cancer: Analysis of Mutations Could Lead to Improved Therapy
Cancer is a complex and diverse disease, and its range of associated mutations is vast. The combination of these genomic changes in an individual is referred to as their “mutational landscape.” These landscapes vary [...]
Exposing tumours to bacteria converts immune cells to cancer killers
New research on inflammation could lead to better treatments to improve outcomes for people with advanced or previously untreatable cancers. Introducing bacteria to a tumour’s microenvironment creates a state of acute inflammation that triggers [...]
Smart nanotechnology for more accurate delivery of insulin
More efficient and longer lasting glucose-responsive insulin that eliminates the need for people with type 1 diabetes to measure their glucose levels could be a step closer thanks to a Monash University-led project. Published [...]
Efficiently Harvesting Rare Earth Elements From Wastewater Using Exotic Bacteria
The novel strains of cyanobacteria exhibit a fast and efficient “biosorption” of rare earth elements, making recycling possible. Rare earth elements (REEs) are a set of 17 metallic elements that possess similar chemical properties. [...]
Resisting Treatment: Cancer Cells Shrink or Super-Size To Survive
A new approach to image analysis has uncovered how cancer cells manipulate their size as a means of resisting treatment. Researchers have discovered that cancer cells are capable of either shrinking or super-size themselves [...]
New Research Explains Why Children Avoid Severe COVID-19 Symptoms
According to new research, children exhibit a robust initial immune response to the coronavirus, however, they are unable to transfer this response to long-lasting memory T cells like adults do. Researchers led by scientists [...]
Scientists Unravel Protein Map of Mitochondria
A new study sheds light on the organization of proteins within mitochondria. Mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of cells, play a crucial role in the energy production of organisms and are involved in various metabolic and [...]
Mystifying Trapping Phenomenon: A Surprising Way To Catch a Microparticle
New insights could advance microfluidics and drug delivery systems. New study finds obstacles can trap rolling microparticles in fluid Through simulations and experiments, physicists attribute the trapping effect to stagnant pockets of fluid, created [...]
New Alzheimer’s Treatment: Blocking T Cells To Prevent Neurodegeneration
Findings, in mice, open up drug development possibilities for brain diseases linked to tau protein. Nearly two dozen experimental therapies targeting the immune system are in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, a reflection of the growing [...]