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Medicineworld.org: Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses

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Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses




Scientists have discovered a new treatment for transplant patients, targeting the antibody-producing plasma cells that can cause organ rejection.

Results of the study are reported in the Dec. 27, 2008, edition of the journal Transplantation
Steve Woodle, MD, and his colleagues observed that a cancer drug bortezomib used to treat multiple myeloma, or cancer of the plasma cells, is effective in treating rejection episodes caused by antibodies that target transplanted kidneys and reversing rejection episodes that did not respond to standard therapies.

B-lymphocytes, or B cells, play a large role in the humoral immune response by making immune proteins that attack transplanted organs.



Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses

"We found a body of literature demonstrating that bortezomib works well in suppressing transplant rejection in the laboratory," says Woodle, main author of the study and chief of transplant surgery at UC. "Moreover, it worked well in models of autoimmune diseases".

T-lymphocytes, or T cells, are white blood cells that were usually thought to cause the rejection of transplanted organs.

Woodle and his team began searching for agents that targeted plasma cells in 2005.

"It has become clear that plasma cells and the antibodies they produce play a bigger role in rejection than previously thought, and the development of therapies targeting these cells has lagged," he says. "We realized that current therapies don't target the plasma cells which may produce the antibody, in general".

Scientists administered this drug to six kidney transplant recipients with therapy-resistant organ rejection, evaluating and recording their responses to the therapy.

In each case, therapy with the drug provided prompt rejection reversal, prolonged reductions in antibody levels and improved organ function with suppression of recurrent rejection for at least five months.

Jason Everly, a board-certified oncology pharmacist in the division of transplant surgery at UC and co-author of the study, says the toxicities linked to this drug were predictable and manageable and were much less than those linked to other anti-cancer agents.

"We are pleased to see its toxicities are similar in transplant recipients suffering from therapy-resistant mixed organ rejection," he adds. "We hope it will be a viable therapeutic therapy option in this patient group".

Woodle says eventhough this data is promising, it is difficult to overestimate the implications of this drug.

"We have an immunosuppressive agent that for the first time can target antibody-producing plasma cells with an efficacy similar to drugs that target T cells," he says. "This has significant implications for transplantation and auto immune disease".

UC scientists are currently conducting four industry-supported clinical trials to expand these findings.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Scientists have discovered a new treatment for transplant patients, targeting the antibody-producing plasma cells that can cause organ rejection. Results of the study are reported in the Dec. 27, 2008, edition of the journal Transplantation Steve Woodle, MD, and his colleagues observed that a cancer drug bortezomib used to treat multiple myeloma, or cancer of the plasma cells, is effective in treating rejection episodes caused by antibodies that target transplanted kidneys and reversing rejection episodes that did not respond to standard therapies.

Medicineworld.org: Cancer drug bortezomib find new uses

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