Immunoglobulin E as a promising new form of anti-cancer immunotherapy

The response of endogenous immunoglobulin E that leads to the development of allergies is „pointless“, because it interacts with inflammatory cells to turn against harmless antigens , thereby causing serious allergies. „Our motto in the current study is: Is there any point to IgE?“ says its lead author, Erika Jensen-Jarolim, who has dual affiliation, both to MedUni Vienna’s Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research and to the inter-university Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Medical University of Vienna and University of Vienna.

„Using dogs as ‚ model patients’, we were able to show that tumours that have the EGFR growth factor can be killed by immunoglobulin E, irrespective of the breed of dog,“ explains Jensen-Jarolim. By the way, the 3rd of June is „Day of the Dog“.

The results of the study, which have now been published in leading magazine „Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology“ (JACI), are also highly promising, since canine EGFR is a 92% match for human EGFR. IgE antibodies build a „bridge“, as it were, between the EGFR on cancer cells and the inflammatory cells, thereby releasing tumour necrosis factors – which immediately start to kill the tumours.

Says Jensen-Jarolim: „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. „This paper is a perfect example of what we are all about at the Messerli Research Institute: improving medicine for people but for animals as well.“

Service:
„AllergoOncology: Generating a canine anti-cancer IGE against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)“. J. Fazakas-Singer, J. Singer, K. Ilieva, M. Matz, I. Herrmann, E. Spillner, S. Karagiannis, E. Jensen-Jarolim. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, June 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.04.021. Link: .

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. The Vetmeduni Vienna plays in the global top league: in 2017, it occupies the excellent place 8 in the world-wide Shanghai University veterinary in the subject „Veterinary Science“.

Scientific Contact:
Erika Jensen-Jarolim
Comparative Medicine, Messerli Research Institute
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-2660

Released by:
Georg Mair
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1165

Medical University Vienna – short profile
Medical University Vienna (MedUni Vienna) is one of the most traditional medical education and research facilities in Europe. With almost 8,000 students, it is currently the largest medical training centre in the German-speaking countries. With 5,500 employees, 26 departments and three clinical institutes, 12 medical theory centres and numerous highly specialised laboratories, it is also one of Europe’s leading research establishments in the biomedical sector.

About Messerli Research Institute
The Messerli Research Institute was founded in 2010 with support from the Messerli Foundation (Sörenberg, Switzerland) under the management of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna. The research is devoted to the interaction between humans and animals, as well as its theoretical principles in animal cognition and behavior, comparative medicine and ethics. Its work is characterized by its broad interdisciplinary approach (biology, human medicine, veterinary medicine, philosophy, psychology, law) and strong international focus.

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