Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

The All-Purpose Tumor Remover


By Elizabeth SvobodaOctober 25, 2012 5:00 AM
cancerc.jpg
Scanning electron microscopy image of a lymphocyte | Wikipedia

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

In March Stanford biomedical researcher Irving Weissman announced that he had discovered an antibody that disarms the survival mechanism of a wide variety of cancerous tumors.

Weissman’s research in mice had revealed that cancer cells produce large quantities of CD47, a protein that signals immune cells to spare the cancer cells. So he implanted various human tumors—including ovarian, breast, colon, liver, and brain—into mice and then injected the animals with antibodies that disable CD47. Robbed of their special protection, the tumors began to disappear almost immediately. Most of the breast tumors cleared completely.

Weissman plans to begin human clinical trials within a year. He envisions anti-CD47 drugs being used both as an adjunct to existing targeted cancer therapies and as a stand-alone treatment: “When you’ve finished surgery or radiotherapy and there’s very little tumor left, this antibody might work all by itself.”

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In