Adoptive immunotherapy causes tumor regression in melanoma patients

November 4, 2008

France - Melanoma patients treated with a special tumor-fighting T cell have a greater change of survival without relapse, according to HealthDay News.

France - Melanoma patients treated with a special tumor-fighting T cell have a greater change of survival without relapse, according to HealthDay News.

The French research team used a process in which natural cancer-fighting T cells are removed from the tumor of a patient with late stage melanoma. The T cells are put in culture dishes to expand in number, before being re-infused into the patient, according to a study published online in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

The therapy caused tumor regression in about half the patients treated, some of whom remained tumor-free for more than a decade. Researchers say those without relapse had naturally arising T cells in their systems that recognized the protein meloe-1, which is highly expressed in melanoma cells but not in normal cells.

Meloe-1 specific T cells were found in five of the nine relapse-free patients and none of the 21 patients that did relapse, according to HealthDay.