In a potential breakthrough for cancer research, Stanford immunologists discovered they can shrink or even get rid of a wide range of human cancers by treating them with a single antibody.
Stanford University researchers Jens-Peter Volkmer (left) and Stephen Willingham study samples of breast cancer tumors from mice under a microscope. Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle
The experiments were done on cancerous tumors transplanted into mice, but the researchers hope to move to human clinical trials within the next couple of years.
"We have made what we think is a big advancement. . .and we're going to push as hard as we can and as fast we can," said Dr. Irving Weissman, pathology professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and director of Stanford's Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
The researchers focused on blocking a protein, which they refer to as the "don't eat me" molecule because it sits on tumor cells signaling the body's immune system not to attack it. By introducing the antibody, the scientists were able to block the protective signal, otherwise known as CD47, allowing the immune system to go after the cancer cells. . .View Full Article