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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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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.