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publicado em 08/09/2011 às 18h54:00
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Antibodies can target proteins within cancer cells

This discovery shows that scientists may be able to expand the use of antibody therapies

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Singapore scientists have suggested that therapies based on antibodies, can be used? To direct proteins inside cancer cells, overturning the traditional view that proteins are targeted only at the cell surface.

The discovery could help expand the scope of antibody-based cancer therapy.

Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * STAR) have been looking for ways to use the properties of tumor-fighting antibodies, which are often used in conjunction with therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation to reach the cancer cells.

Currently, antibodies are used? To target proteins, found on the surface of cancer cells - that bind and block the action of these proteins. Many cancer drugs are antibodies, including bevacizumab (Avastin) and trastuzumab (Herceptin).

But so far, antibodies have been widely regarded as too large to penetrate cancer cells and attack the cancer-causing proteins found within cells.

This has limited the scope of antibody-based drug development to target only foreign proteins.

However, the study of Qi Zeng and colleagues at A * STAR has identified three different antibodies that may slip into the cancer cells and bind to proteins. Working in laboratory models also shows that the three antibodies trigger an immune response against certain tumors - working in much the same way as a traditional vaccine.

The researchers did not determine exactly how the antibodies were able to enter the cell, but found that the components of the immune system, called B cells, may be involved. This will be the subject of future research. "This work is an initial suggestion that we might be able to expand the use of therapies based on antibodies to target proteins within the tumor cells, but more research is needed before, so we can be sure. We also need to know exactly how achieve the goals of antibodies within the tumor cells, to understand this mechanism could help us improve future treatments. be interesting to see if that translates in the early work on new antibody treatments, "said senior director of scientific, Oliver Childs , Cancer Research UK.

   Palavras-chave:   Antibodies    Proteins    Cells    Cancer therapies    Surface    Expansion    Block    Action    Drugs    Singapore   
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