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7/25/2014 6:47:25 AM

Scientists at Stanford University begin Human Clinical Trials with antibody drug that kills all Cancers

Researchers from Stanford University have found a drug that can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors.

After successful trials in mice they will now move to human clinical trials, thanks to a $20 million grant.

The drug works by blocking a protein called CD47 that is essentially a "do not eat" signal to the body's immune system.

A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do healthy cells. CD47, he and other scientists found, is also displayed on healthy blood cells; it's a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate.

Cancers take advantage of this flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them.
In the past few years, Weissman's lab showed that blocking CD47 with an antibody cured some cases of lymphomas and leukemias in mice by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer cells as invaders. Now, he and colleagues have shown that the CD47-blocking antibody may have a far wider impact than just blood cancers.

Weissman's team has received a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests. "We have enough data already," says Weissman, "that I can say I'm confident that this will move to phase I human trials."

cancer cell

Scientists at Stanford University begin Human Clinical Trials with antibody drug that kills all CancersScientists at Stanford University begin Human Clinical Trials with antibody drug that kills all Cancers

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