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Discovery offers hope for anti-cancer therapy
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are created when the immune system overreacts to an allergen.

Immunoglobulin E antibodies could fight cancer in humans and dogs

Antibodies that are produced in response to allergens could offer hope for a new anti-cancer therapy in dogs and humans, scientists have said.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are created when the immune system overreacts to an allergen, such as pollen. However, their original purpose is to repel harmful external substances.  

A team of international scientists have now developed a ‘canine IgE’ that targets the EGFR growth factor in cancerous tumours. In-vitro studies found that, in more than 60 per cent of cases, the tumour was destroyed by IgE antibodies.

IgE antibodies build a ‘bridge’ between EGFR on cancer cells and inflammatory cells, which releases tumour necrosis factors.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, offers hope for humans too, as canine and human EGFR are a 92 per cent match.

Lead author Erika Jensen-Jarolim said: "We can therefore hope that we have made an important contribution towards developing a new form of immunotherapy against cancerous tumours.

"A subsequent clinical trial will be conducted in canine patients to validate the results in an international joint initiative before moving to human trials.”

Image © M. Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.