Novel Antibody Shows Potential to Prevent Lymphoma

Blocking the migration path of cancer cells in the blood could create new, effective treatments for cancers, such as lymphoma.

Blocking the migration path of cancer cells in the blood could create new, effective treatments for cancers, such as lymphoma.

Standard chemotherapy treatments are often deemed ineffective due to the aggressive nature of lymphoma, which effects the lymphocytes. In a study published by the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, researchers used an antibody to neutralize a protein that blocks the migration of lymphoma cells to other lymphoid organs and tissues.

Since lymphocytes freely circulate in the blood and lymphatic system, any mutations can be widespread. They become especially dangerous when they proliferate in the lymphatic system.

“Since they cannot survive in the blood for long, these malignant cells are compelled to find a more accommodating environment - such as the lymphatic system - where they can proliferate,” said researcher Thomas Matthes, PhD. “We decided to focus on this Achilles heel by containing them in the blood so as to prevent any resulting harm.”

Endothelial cells can create a barrier that prevent blood cells from leaving, but mutated lymphocytes can have the JAM-C protein on their surface, which allows them to migrate through the vessel walls, according to the study. Researchers created the antibody H225, which will only bind to JAM-C and prevent the cancerous cells from migrating to the lymphatic system.

The antibody was able to prevent more than 50% of cancerous cells from entering organs in the lymphatic system.

“This is not its only effect,” Dr Matthes said. “H225 also significantly limited cell proliferation, even when tumor cells had already settled in the lymphatic system. In our mice, we observed the nearly-complete disappearance of already-present tumor cells in the organs.”

Researchers hope their findings will lead to the creation of a new therapeutic strategy against lymphoma.