alexa Promising developments in tackling resistance to blood cancer drugs

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Promising developments in tackling resistance to blood cancer drugs

A drug with the potential to reverse resistance to immunotherapy has been developed by scientists at the University of Southampton. It has shown great promise in pre-clinical models and will be available to patients with certain leukemias and non-Hodgkin lymphomas in clinical trials later this year. Targeted drugs made from engineered immune proteins -- called monoclonal antibodies -- have revolutionised treatment for several types of cancer in recent years. They work by sticking to specific proteins found on the surface of cancer cells, flagging them up to be killed by the immune system. Unfortunately, a number of patients do not respond or develop resistance to treatment. The researchers, who were funded by Leukemia & Lymphoma Research and Cancer Research UK, have shown that some cancer cells are able to draw monoclonal antibodies inside themselves, making them invisible to immune cells. However, the researchers showed that a new antibody, called BI-1206, can effectively prevent this drug destruction process and enhance cancer killing by binding to a molecule called FcγRIIB. BI-1206 showed remarkable success in mice in overcoming resistance to monoclonal antibodies like rituximab, currently used to treat different types of lymphoma and leukemia.

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