'Super-charged' immune systems destroy childhood tumors

Using select antibodies to "super charge" the human immune system has proven an effective treatment of a virulent form of childhood cancer in lab tests, says a group of British scientists.

Researchers at the University of Southampton say that they developed two monoclonal antibodies that cling to molecules in the immune system. And they destroyed 40 percent to 60 percent of the neuroblastoma tumors exposed to the antibodies. While the same approach didn't fare so well against more aggressive tumor types, matching the antibody with a peptide achieved the same results.

"Although this work is still at a pre-clinical stage, we hope it has enabled us to identify a way that we can provide effective immunotherapy treatment against neuroblastoma," said Juliet Gray, a clinical lecturer in oncology at the University of Southampton. Neuroblastoma is responsible for about 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths in the U.K.

- read the story from Reuters