publication date: Feb. 28, 2017
Pharmacology Newfound Effect of Cancer Drug May Expand its Use
A drug first designed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying has a second effect: it switches immune cells that turn down the body’s attack on tumors back into the kind that amplify it. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published recently in Cancer Immunology Research.
According to experiments in mice, macrophages – immune cells that home in on tumors – take in the drug nab-paclitaxel (brand name Abraxane).
Once inside these cells, say the study authors, the drug changes them so that they signal for an aggressive anti-tumor immune response.
“Our study reveals a previously unappreciated role for Abraxane in tumor immunology,” says corresponding author Dafna Bar-Sagi, vice dean for science and chief scientific officer at NYU Langone. “In doing so, it suggests ways to improve the drug and argues for its inclusion in new kinds of combination treatments.”
Bar-Sagi is also a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Langone, and associated with its Perlmutter Cancer Center.
Abraxane is comprised of the decades-old cancer drug, paclitaxel, combined with nanoparticles of the protein albumin (nab). Paclitaxel alone is not effective against pancreatic cancer, but Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) is part of a leading treatment for the disease.
Why … Continue reading CCL Feb 2017 – Newfound Effect of Cancer Drug May Expand its Use
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