HomeScience and ResearchScientific ResearchA unique immune system weapon naturally produces antibodies against cancer

A unique immune system weapon naturally produces antibodies against cancer

Published on

A new study shows how the immune systems of cancer patients can produce antibodies against tumors naturally.

A new study from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science lays the groundwork for a potential cancer breakthrough in the form of immunotherapy, which will use a unique immune system weapon in the fight against cancer: naturally created antibodies.

Antibodies are proteins that bind to specific pathogens and neutralize them. Other recent research have indicated that naturally occurring antibodies are frequently found in cancerous tumors, but their purpose is uncertain; they could very well have been made by the body, with no association to the disease.

However, indirect evidence suggests that they do provide some anticancer benefit: Patients who live longer than others and respond better to anticancer medicines had higher densities of antibody-producing B cells in their malignancies.

Still, there was no way of knowing if these cells, and the antibodies they produce, contribute to enhanced survival, and if so, how.

The new discoveries, published in the journal Cell, succeeded in identifying a molecule that is targeted by the newly found antibodies: an enzyme called MMP14 (MT1-MMP), a membrane-bound protease.

This scissor-like enzyme is vital in reshaping tissues in a healthy body, such as during regeneration or wound repair. In cancer, it functions in the tumor’s microenvironment and becomes uncontrollable, cutting through the matrix protecting the cancer cells and allowing them to invade adjacent tissue and migrate to other organs, resulting in lethal metastasis.

The researchers discovered that the MMP14 enzyme was present at excessively high amounts in the ovarian cancers studied.

“We’ve now shown that the immune systems of cancer patients can produce antibodies against tumors,” adds Prof. Ziv Shulman of Weizmann’s Immunology Department, who lead the research.

“These natural antibodies appear to have an unrealized therapeutic potential,” Sagi adds. “More research is needed in order apply them in future therapies or as diagnosis reagents.”

The findings pave the door for a unique method to producing cancer immunotherapies based on natural anticancer antibodies. Although the researchers concentrated on ovarian cancer, they emphasized that it could also apply to other forms.

Source: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.02.012

Image Credit: Nucleai

You were reading: A unique immune system weapon naturally produces antibodies against cancer

Latest articles

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...

This Might Be a Better Way to Age-proof Your Eyes and Reduce AMD Risk, According to Optometrist

According to expert, this supplement can absorb blue light, protect the highly sensitive cells...

More like this

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...