Radiation-Chemical Combo Enlists Killer T-Cells Against Lymphoma

Forever in search of a way to enlist the immune system to fight the growth of cancer in the body, researchers in England think they might have the latest answer.

University of Manchester researchers believe that a chemical known as R848 kick-starts immune cells by stimulating receptors on the cell surface. When researchers injected mice with R848, they saw an expansion in the blood of killer T-cells.

Radiation-chemical combo four times more effective

When they used R848 along with radiotherapy, they found that subjects (the mice) were four times more likely to experience long-term survival with lymphoma patients then if they received radiation therapy alone.

Their findings have been published in the journal of the American Society of Hematology, Blood.

Dr. Simon Dovedi of the University of Manchester's Institute of Cancer Sciences and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre commented:

"This could give patients a better response to conventional therapies through the generation of a lymphoma-specific immune response against tumor cells. This could be the key to ensuring long-term survival in more patients and reducing the number of relapses after initial therapy."

Very few side effects, long-term survival

Researchers saw little in the way of side effects or adverse events from R848 and radiotherapy. Every mouse with lymphoma treated with this combination experienced long-term survival, compared to a little more than one-quarter of the mice receiving radiotherapy alone.

Further, they believe that the activation of the immune system prevents cancer from recurrence.

Professor Chris Bunce of Leukemia & Lymphoma Research stated:

"These results are hugely promising. One of the major obstacles to long-term successful treatment for many types of lymphoma has been relapse after initial successful treatment. Treatment with R848 can prime T cells to recognize various tumor-associated antigens, protecting patients from the return of the cancer."

Source: MNT

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