HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 23, No 01, January 2019 – Taiwan medical tourism - Combining medical travel and tourist destination       » New breast cancer drug now available in China       » Chinese scientists make important cancer finding       » Japan's plan to revolutionise healthcare sector with tech       » GSK to buy oncology drugmaker Tesaro for US$5.1 billion       » There is hope for anticancer vaccines      
BIOBOARD - ASIA-PACIFIC
Singapore scientists discover new ways to help us understand how the body fights cancer
The discovery of an important biomarker in immune cells could help determine a patient’s response to immunotherapies

When a tumour is detected in the body, white blood cells known as Tumour-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) typically leave the bloodstream and migrate into the tumour, as part of the body’s immune response to the abnormal growth of tissue. A key finding from a study found that not all immune cells (the TILs) present in tumours play a role in fighting cancer, and a method was discovered about how to differentiate them.

Researchers from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), Duke-NUS Medical School and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), have discovered ways to help us better understand how the human body fights cancer.

The research team found that the expression of a biomarker - CD39, an enzyme typically located on cell surfaces - could be a way to accurately identify tumour-specific immune cells that help to fight the tumour. This means that measurements of CD39 expression in a patient’s TILs could be used to determine if that patient will respond well to immunotherapy treatments, and potentially lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer in the future.

The researchers sought to first understand how TILs help the body fight cancer. To do that, they studied how TILs recognise and target tumour cells, and found that TILs can be specific for tumour cells, but can also be specific for antigens unrelated to cancer, such as the Influenza virus. As the latter type of TILs are not cancer-specific and do not act at a tumour site, they are classified as “bystander” cells. By comparing tumour-specific TILs with bystander TILs, the researchers observed that tumour-specific TILs expressed the marker CD39, but not bystander TILs. These results suggest that CD39 could be a distinctive marker of tumour-specific T cells in tumours.

To confirm the finding, the researchers further studied the TILs which expressed CD39, and found that patients whose TILs expressed low frequencies of CD39 had a relatively low response rate to cancer therapies such as checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.

“While further research is needed to determine the extent to which we can utilise this, our research suggests that CD39 could be useful as a marker of tumour-specific TILs,” said Dr Evan Newell, Principal Investigator at A*STAR’s SIgN. “This discovery is particularly exciting because the results could have many implications that can potentially help to speed the development and efficacy of cancer immunotherapy strategies.”

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Asia is the fastest growing region for nutraceuticals
news 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine winners
news Vitafoods Asia expands by 40 per cent in 2018
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  

APBN Editorial Calendar 2019
January:
Taiwan Medical tourism
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2019 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy