• Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Tumors, an ‘made in Italy’ antibody recognizes and fights leukemia cells

Byeditorial

May 24, 2021

A new humanized monoclonal antibody, developed by researchers from the ‘Magna Graecia’ University of Catanzaro, is able to recognize a particular subgroup of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, type T, and to activate the body’s immune response to fight the disease . This is demonstrated by a study published in the ‘Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer’, conducted by the Calabrian university in collaboration with the Tettamanti Research Center in Monza and with various other Italian and international centers. The work was supported by the accelerator of Italian biotech projects BiovelocIta, by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (co-financed project Airc / Carical), by the Alessandro Maria Zancan Onlus ‘GrandeAle Onlus’ Foundation and by Transcan-2 Regional Foundation for biomedical research. “Several years ago, in our laboratories – explains Pierfrancesco Tassone, head of the Translational Medical Oncology Unit of the University of Catanzaro – we discovered a new antigenic target specifically expressed by T-type acute leukemia cells (T-All), and on it we have generated a new humanized monoclonal antibody and its bi-specific engineered derivative, called Bispecific T Cell Engager (Btce), capable of activating a powerful cytotoxic immune response. It is a very promising new therapeutic agent for the treatment of leukemia pediatric and adult type T, deserving of clinical development in a short time “.” In characterizing the monoclonal antibody, called ahuUmg1, generated in the laboratories of the University of Catanzaro – reports Giuseppe Gaipa, head of the Cytometry and Therapy Unit molecular of the Tettamanti Research Center – we found that the latter specifically recognizes more than 80% of patients with a particular subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia type T (T-All) “. This ‘sentinel’ property, a sort of ‘diagnostic capacity’, is also associated with “a therapeutic function of killing leukemia cells, thanks to the collaboration of the antibody with the Natural killer cells present in our immune system”. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia – a note reminds us – is the most frequent tumor in pediatric age, constituting 80% of leukemias in this age group and about 25% of all cancers diagnosed between 0 and 14 years. The maximum incidence is recorded between 2 and 5 years, and then decreases with increasing age.

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