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A new immunotherapy for cancer?

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Although typically regarded as being intracellular molecules, members of the 70 kDa family of heat shock (stress) proteins (Hsp70) have been shown to be released from viable cells. Furthermore, Gabriele Multhoff and Claus Botzler were the first to demonstrate the selective expression of a membrane form of Hsp70 by tumour cells.

This recent study which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) demonstrates that an antibody to this molecule can induce the killing of cancer cells and tumours in an experimental system. Although much work has yet to be done, these studies suggest that this might be an approach for treating cancer. A copy of the paper can be downloaded (as a .pdf file) by clicking HERE.

Further details on the monoclonal antibody that was used in this studies can be found HERE.