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Trained lymphocytes to fight cancer?

25.08.2017 Health, Recommended

Kinga Majchrzak. Photo: SGGW-WULS

Modification of lymphocytes isolated from dogs so that they are capable of defeating tumour cells without harming healthy cells - this is the purpose of research conducted by Dr. Kinga Majchrzak from SGGW-WULS in Warsaw.

Dr. Kinga Majchrzak received almost PLN 2 million for her research project from the Foundation for Polish Science.


The project is a continuation of research conducted by Dr Kinga Majchrzak during a two-year fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina (USA). At that centre, a team of cancer immunology specialists led by Dr. Chrystal Paulos conducts research on the use of T cells in the treatment of melanoma and pancreatic cancer - two cancers that are extremely resistant to commonly used cancer treatments. Dr. Majchrzak was involved in the modification of Th17 lymphocytes to make them more effective in combating melanoma. Research was conducted on mice - but effective rodent therapy is a long way from human treatment.


The next stage of research will be conducted on lymphocytes isolated from dogs. "Dogs suffer from similar cancers as humans, their course is almost the same, and the immune system functions very similarly" - said Dr Kinga Majchrzak, quoted in the SGGW-WULS release sent to PAP. "Because of this, research on dog lymphocytes will have more cognitive value than research on mice".


"We plan to explore the role of signalling pathways in lymphocytes that infiltrate melanomas in dogs in order to increase their anti-tumour activity, for the time being in laboratory conditions, and in the future also in a clinic. The findings will benefit both veterinary and human medicine" - said the researcher. "Understanding the importance of signalling pathways in lymphocytes will broaden our knowledge of the immune system, but it can also open up new possibilities of developing protocols of cell culture for immunotherapy in humans. The animals will also benefit, they will get a chance to regain health".


Dr. Majchrzak is a laureate of the third competition organized by the Foundation for Polish Science in the First Team programme. A grant of nearly PLN 2 million will allow her to set up her own research team at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. the Polish researcher will pursue her project "Modifying Th17 lymphocyte subtype signalling pathways in a dog model to improve the adoptive T cell therapy in humans" in collaboration with Dr. Paulos from the Medical University of South Carolina. The research project is scheduled for three years.


PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland


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