News from Users of Planer Machines:- On October 30 2007 The Times of London reported that Prof. Colin Self of Newcastle University, UK, had developed a new targeted therapy against cancer which had shown impressive results in animal experiments. By using a beam of ultraviolet light to activate antibodies inside the tumour his team created “magic bullets” that could use the body’s immune system to destroy tumours but leave healthy tissue unharmed. Antibodies are injected into the tumour, “cloaked” by attaching them to an organic oil that renders them ineffective. Once in place, a beam of ultraviolet light breaks up the cloaking chemical, bringing the antibody back to life. The antibody then binds to T-cells, the body’s defence system, and triggers them to target the surrounding tissue. Targeting antibodies precisely and avoiding damage to surrounding healthy tissue have proved stumbling blocks and this technique should reduce or eliminate these problems because the T-cell response will be local, inside the cancer, and not general.
Two papers published in the journal ChemMedChem report that in a small animal trial, the technique eliminated ovarian cancers in five out of six mice, and greatly reduced the tumour’s size in the sixth mouse. The process will require extensive testing in animals and human trials before it has any chance of reaching a cancer clinic. There are some limitations, as light cannot always reach internal tumours very easily. But Professor Self suggested that, for example, in an operation to cut out a prostate tumour, the method could be used at the end of the operation to destroy any remaining tumour cells that the surgeon had been unable to remove and hopefully prevent recurrence.
Professor Self said these were “exciting new results” that confirmed the findings and that he was proceeding to raise money for a human trials. These will be aimed at treating secondary skin cancers in patients who are already suffering cancers of the internal organs. The aim will be to see firstly if the skin cancers can be controlled, as a proof that the technique works in human beings. BioTransformations Ltd, the company set up by Professor Self to develop the technology, and a user of Planer controlled rate freezers, hopes to begin clinical trials on patients with secondary skin cancers early next year. ENDS
Planer specialise in the control of temperature and other system parameters for hospitals, laboratories, research institutes, factories and universities. Established in the market for over forty years, they have moved steadily from pioneering research in cryogenics, to becoming the gold-standard supplier of controlled-rate freezing equipment, monitoring and sample security & management. Today, through a global network of over fifty distributors, the range of equipment and systems sold includes Controlled Rate Freezers, Alarm and Monitoring systems, Incubators, Liquid Nitrogen Vessels & Ultra Low Refrigerators.