Ken Frauwirth BioKen frauwirt at notmendel.Berkeley.EDU
Fri Feb 7 22:05:22 EST 1997

In article <jcherwon.145.32FB49CA at>,
John Cherwonogrodzky <jcherwon at> wrote:
>Dear Colleagues:
>     I'm a bacteriologist, not an immunologist and certainly not an 
>oncologist.  Please excuse my ignorance but the topic of cancer antigens has 
>been raised. Tom Thatcher replied that it might be possible to surgically 
>remove a tumour, then make an immunostimulatory construct and 
>inject this back in. Although he had some reservations on this, it got me 
>thinking: Could one surgically remove a tumour, extract antigens either 
>specific or more expressed on the cancer cells, inject this with an adjuvant 
>or immuno-stimulatory agent, and then initiate a type of tissue rejection 
>cascade to eliminate any secondary tumours?
>     Take care...John

I just returned from a conference on cancer immunotherapy - all of the 
therapies discussed here were brought up at the conference:

B7, cytokines, anti-CTLA-4 (an inhibitory receptor):  all have therapeutic
 potential, but only work on subsets of tumors.  The reasons why some tumors
 respond and others don't are not clear.

mAbs: not *quite* out of style, and some are being used in intriguing ways
 (attaching toxins to directly target the tumor)

generating tumor antigens from tumor tissue: this is one of the most
 actively pursued approaches.  People are using peptides extracted from 
 tumor MHC, heat shock protein/peptide complexes from tumors, direct DNA
 vaccines encoding tumor antigens.  There is also a large number of studies
 looking at the use of so-called "shared tumor antigens", which are expressed
 in many malignancies but not at all (or in much lower amounts) by normal 
 cells.  In addition to using adjuvants, many studies are also looking into
 pulsing the antigens onto dendritic cells (very potent antigen presenting
 cells) from the cancer patient and re-injecting them.  There are currently
 numerous clinical trials going on in this area.


Ken Frauwirth (MiSTie #33025)                         _           _
frauwirt at                         |_) *    |/ (_ |\ |               |_) | () |\ (_ | \|  
DNRC Title: Chairman of Joint Commission on In-duh-vidual Affairs

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