A new strategy that turns small populations of immune system cells into armies that track down and kill neuroblastoma throughout the body could save the lives of many children each year, according to preclinical studies being undertaken at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The investigational therapy comprises artificial antibodies that tag neuroblastoma cells, immune system cells such as T lymphocytes that attack those tagged cells, and proteins called cytokines that stimulate the T lymphocytes. A report on these studies appears in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that arises in immature nerve cells and affects mostly infants and children. The disease often has already spread throughout the body by the time the disease is diagnosed.