Re: DC-tag and cancer cures

From: Carol Tilley (
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 12:01:29 MST

> According to the tail end of a TV news report I half-caught, Oz
> just announced a curative gadget effective in mice for cancers, malaria
> maybe other diseases: called DC-tag, or somesuch (can't find on web). I
> gather it helps smuggle the active ingredient into ...
> Damien Broderick

Perhaps you are thinking of the use of dendritic cells(DC) for tumor

Seems that there are a variety of approaches or implementations of the
theory, in vitro or in vivo. For example, withdraw a blood
specimen from the patient and isolate the dendritic cells. Culture these
cells with enhanced or unenhanced tumor cells from the patient. Inject by IV
these modified autologous dendritic cells back into the patient. The
souped-up dendritic cells (bearing the tumor specific antigens) then
approach the T cells where the immune response is activated against the

Issues of relevance span autoimmunity activation, the downside of using
GSF(growth stimulating factor), contamination via exogenous treatment,
enhancing potent antigenicity, and adenoviral vectors.

Google keywords might include:
dendritic cells 2001 immunotherapy dc

Some URLs for you:
...Genzyme Molecular Oncology has initiated three phase I/II cancer vaccine
clinical trials using a novel technology developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute called dendritic/cancer cell fusion technology.
This novel technology combines a patient's dendritic cells with their
inactivated tumor cells in a laboratory procedure. The fused cells are
injected back into the patient to stimulate an immune response against the
patient's cancer.
The cell fusion process eliminates the need to identify specific antigens to
use in a vaccine by automatically incorporating the entire menu of antigens
found on the patient's original tumor cells.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 98, no. 15, pp. 8809-8814 (July 17, 2001)
Most tumor-associated antigens represent self-proteins and as a result are
poorly immunogenic due to immune tolerance. Here we show that tolerance to
carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), which is overexpressed by the majority of
lethal malignancies, can be reversed by immunization with a CEA-derived
peptide. This peptide was altered to make it a more potent T cell antigen
and loaded onto dendritic cells (DCs) for delivery as a cellular vaccine.
Although DCs are rare in the blood...
l (oops!)
Last Updated: 2001-02-23 18:30:06 EST (Reuters Health) - A new methodology
for constructing dendritic cell vaccines may offer a novel approach to
cancer immunotherapy, according to a report in the February 15th issue of
International Journal of Cancer
Dendritic cell function is critically dependent on their location and state
of maturation. Immature DC reside in all peripheral tissues (areas of high
antigen encounter) and are equipped to capture and process antigen. ...In
response to activation signals, ...these immature DC undergo maturation.
During maturation the DC down-regulate their ability to process antigen and
up-regulate well as costimulatory and adhesion molecules developing
into potent T cell stimulators. At the same time these DC migrate into the
lymph node. In the secondary lymphoid organs, DC express high levels of
chemokines which preferentially attract naive (CD45RA+) T cells. ...

Personally, I like the actinium nanogenerator described in the 16 November
issue of Science:

[By bringing the nanogenerator's firepower directly inside the cancer cells,
the researchers were able to realize other benefits as well. The trail
blazed by an alpha particle is two to three cell diameters wide, so any hit
from inside or outside the cancer cell will kill it. The likelihood of a
direct hit improves, however, once the nanogenerator is inside the cell.
"The odds of an alpha particle hitting a cell are 100 percent if the
particle generator is inside the cell, but only 30 percent if the
nanogenerator binds to the cell's outer surface," says Scheinberg.]

Gotta go, now. Stake out my spot at the Leonid Drive-In.


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