A new antibody treatment can make chronic lymphocytic leukaemia treatment effective in patients with natural resistance, researchers reported on Wednesday.
A trial on 11 patients tested an antibody which blocks a protein CFH, which protects cells.
The antibody was identified in patients with 'natural capacity' to resist cancer.
Writing in PloS One yesterday, researchers at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, report how they tested the antibody on 11 CLL patients expected not to respond to rituximab.
The study found that five patients seemed to benefit from the addition of the antibody to treatment, enjoying a significant increase in cancer cell death.
Researcher Professor Edward Patz said: 'This is a combination approach, and it appears to strip away immune protection of cancer cells. Patients who had been rituximab resistant became rituximab sensitive.
'The drug works in part through an immune mechanism that triggers cancer cells to die. In some people, this immune mechanism is de-activated. Our antibody basically re-activates it.'
Source: PloS One 28 June 2017
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