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Antierythropoetin antibody to fight cancer

If they like it, take it away.
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

Procrit and related epo drugs were advertised on TV in the US for cancer patients. But it turns out that people on these drugs have worse cancer-related outcomes: maybe the epo or the high blood counts it produces stimulates cancer growth.

Some reports came in about folks in Europe getting these drugs who developed antibodies to them. These antibodies blocked the effect both of the received drug and also the epo their own bodies made.

Maybe anti-epo antibodies could be used as drugs to augment cancer treatment. Other antibodies are used therapeutically.

bungston, Jul 23 2010

Procrit stimulates breast cancer http://bcaction.org...-february-27-2008-2
[bungston, Jul 23 2010]

Antibodies to erythropoetin can occur. http://content.nejm.../abstract/346/7/469
[bungston, Jul 23 2010]

Procrit being pitched to chemo patients. http://www.youtube....watch?v=QDWqkeiGiYE
"I caught a fish!" [bungston, Jul 23 2010]


       Oh, you're not [beanangel]. I'll read it then.   

       My prejudice is that this wouldn't work but i can't think of a convincing-sounding reason off the top of my head. Whilom, have a bun.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2010

       Hmmm. All I know is that anti-angiogenics (things that prevent the growth of new blood vessels) are used as cancer therapeutics, to prevent the cancer creating a blood supply for itself.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 23 2010

       What are the antibodies tagging? Is it the EPO or is it specific cells that are expressing an effect of the EPO. If it's simply seeking and destroying the compound or proteins resulting from it then the results could be minimal or simply depressing to red blood cell production (low red counts might slow the growth of cancer but the patient will feel substantially dissipated). If it induces an autoimmune response to cells that are doing something a little different from the norm then it might be a therapy for some specific cancers but it might also simply be a waste. If you could develop an antibody specific to only the cancerous cells or only the cells most likely to be assisting them then you would be on to something. I assume that if the researcher were at all sensible this isn't going to be this antibody because if it were then EPO researchers were barking up completely the wrong tree which IMHO seems unlikely.
WcW, Jul 23 2010

       Antibodies mop up epo molecule, it would seem; linked article notes effect of antibody can be overpowered with excess of epo so it is not competitive or working somewhere else along the line. Given that antibody is induced by certain synthetic epos that makes sense.   

       Substantial dissipation is often accepted when treatment has possibility of cure. It is not clear to me whether epo itself or high blood counts are what promotes the cancer.   

       "barking up wrong tree" - depends on why you are barking. Tree of dissipation reversal / fabulous profits is a very barkable one.
bungston, Jul 23 2010

       // you're not [beanangel] //   

       Are you channeling the spirit of [Beanangel] ?   

       If not, we will annotate again when we have made sense of this.
8th of 7, Jul 23 2010

       Just lost a close friend to cancer. I don't think this would have helped him, despite my firm conviction about the fertile ground for antibody development and application to a variety of conditions. I'll hazard a roundhouse guess about the [idea], that it will be measured with the yardstick used for other 'immunity boosting' therapies and found to be ultimately more harmful than helpful.
reensure, Jul 23 2010

       The antibodies made the patients severely anemic. Bleeding them would be cheaper. I'm not getting the therapeutic mechanism, here.
mouseposture, Jul 24 2010

       Bleeding would indeed be cheaper. But low blood counts are also associated with worse cancer treatment outcomes - but maybe the low counts were an attempt by the body to compensate for bad cancer. Sort of like saying wolves are more likely to catch people who are out of breath, so don't be out of breath.   

       Still, since successful attempts to hold blood counts higher than a given level produced worse cancer outcomes, it would not at all be unreasonable to study cancer treatment combined with attempts to hold blood counts lower than a certain level. Chemo does this by itself, sometimes. Maybe that is part of how it works?
bungston, Oct 11 2011

       //low blood counts are also associated with worse cancer treatment outcomes - but maybe the low counts were an attempt by the body to compensate for bad cancer.// Extremely out of the box thinking.
mouseposture, Oct 11 2011


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