According to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have identified an antibody that halts breast cancer growth in animal models and are investigating whether or not the antibody has the potential to treat humans with breast cancer. To identify the new antibody, the researchers used a new approach that requires a portion of the time that standard methods require.
To do so, they created a 3-dimensional collagen matrix, similar to what is found surrounding human breast cancer cells. The breast cancer cells were then embedded in the collagen matrix, allowing the cells to grow as if they were in human tissue. The cancer-containing matrices were then injected into mice, whose immune system recognized them as foreign tissue. The mice's immune system began generating thousands of antibodies to combat the foreign collagen matrix.
One of those antibodies, 4C3, was able to almost completely halt breast cancer cell proliferation. The researchers also determined which molecule on the cancer cells the antibody targeted. The researchers hope that they can utilize this information to create a humanized monoclonal antibody as a potential treatment for breast cancer.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have described a new approach to discovering potential cancer treatments that requires a fraction of the time needed for more traditional methods. They used the platform to identify a novel antibody that is undergoing further investigation as a potential treatment for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancers.
In research published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers in the lab of Stephen Weiss at the U-M Life Sciences Institute detail an approach that replicates the native environment of cancer cells and increases the likelihood that drugs effective against the growth of tumor cells in test tube models will also stop cancer from growing in humans.