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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.