New Cancer Treatment?

R M Bernstein ralph at
Sun Nov 12 16:43:59 EST 1995

In Article <816180076.3745 at>, nigel at
(Nigel2) wrote:
>Could anyone out there tell me whether this is really a good idea or
>totally bollocks or perhaps even not novel?

well, nigel, its a good idea, but certainly not novel.  trying to use
antibodys that are specific for tumours has been a pursuit for many years. 
the problem is that cancers have almost all the same antigens as normal
cells, so that they would bind the normal cells as well.  when a tumour
associated or specific antigen _is_ found (note: these are not pan-cancer
reagents, they are specific to 1 or 2 tumour types) they are ineffective. 
antibodys dont seem to neutralise tumours.  t cells are the way to go with
this.  antibodys may be better for diagnostic purposes, or for targeting
tumours with cytotoxic reagents, such as radiation and toxins, like ricin. 
TIL-B, or tumour infiltrating b lymphocytes are the subject of intense
research because they may have a higher percentage of their antibodys that
react with tumours-specifically.  you could see a recent journal of cancer
research article that reports the use of til b in producing _single chain_
antibodies that are captured from the til b, for potential use in
identifying new tumour antigens, targeting, etc.  i beleive it is h zhang et al.

>Metastasis is a major problem in the treatment of cancer. About 50% of
>all cases of cancer have already spread by the time of diagnosis.
>So why can't we prevent metastasis simply by passive immunity-
>injecting antibodies into someones bloodstream which bind any free
>cancer cells preventing them infecting some other organ. I can only
>believe that you would need such a large dose of antbody as most will
>bind to the tumour itself. 
>However, my understanding is that surgery to remove a tumour often
>causes secondary tumours as cells are dislodged during the operation.
>Surely it would be sensible to inject the cancer antisera during and
>after the removal of the tumour.
>Any suggestions/comments/insults.
>Nigel J.Osborn.

hope this helps,
regards, ralph

Ralph M. Bernstein
Dept of Micro/Immuno
University of Arizona
Ph: 602 626 2585
Fx: 602 626 2100

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