ASU Anti-Cancer Center conducts research on the Nobel Prize level

9 November 2018 Department of Information and Media Communications
The Russian-American Cancer Center of Altai State University is in the trend of world science.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018 was awarded to James Ellison (USA) and Tasuku Honjo (Japan) for their discovery of "cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation".

“James Allison and Tasuku Honjo discovered CTLA-4 and PD-1 molecules located on the surface of T-lymphocytes (cells of the immune system) and inhibiting the immune response. Cancer cells “learned” to use these molecules, thereby becoming “invisible” to immune cells. The merit of the Nobel laureates is that they developed therapeutic antibodies that block the ability of cancer cells to trigger negative regulation through CTLA-4 and PD-1, thereby returning the body the ability to recognize and destroy malignant tumors,” Andrei I. Shapoval, executive director of the Russian-American Cancer Center of ASU said. “If our colleagues use monoclonal bodies in their work, then in our research we seek to find peptides, new drug agents that will also block the ability of cancer cells to trigger negative regulation through CTLA-4 and PD-1 and will enable the human immune system to fight tumor cells.”

In the United States, before the opening of the Anti-Cancer Center at Altai State University, Andrei I. Shapoval began research in the field of cancer control, exploring molecules of the same family as CTLA-4 and PD-1, for which the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine was received. Now the research team under the leadership of Shapoval continues to explore these promising strategies for immunotherapy of cancer. The presentation of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of CTLA-4 and PD-1 suggests that the Anti-Cancer Center study is at the forefront of research in the field of cancer control.

About 20–25 years ago, in chemistry, the scientists began to master the method of phage display, with the help of which they began to obtain antibodies capable of fighting off autoimmune diseases and in some cases curing metastatic cancer. This year, George Smith from the United States of America and Gregory Winter from Great Britain, who created and developed the technology of phage display, won the Nobel Prize.

“Now we use phage display in our work along with peptide microchips to determine peptides that we can use in the diagnosis of oncological diseases, as well as for the development of therapeutic drugs,” the head of the Anti-Cancer Center at ASU said. “The Nobel Committee annually celebrates scientific and cultural achievements that have made a significant contribution to the development of mankind. And the direction and technology that have been noted this year in the field of medicine and chemistry have made a huge contribution to the development of immunotherapy for various diseases.”

Being in the trend of world science, the Russian-American Anti-Cancer Center of Altai State University is currently exploring peptides that interact with CTLA-4 and PD-1 molecules. Together with the Research Institute of Biomedicine, AltGU, scientists of the anti-cancer center conduct 3D modeling of the interaction of peptides with these molecules.

“In the future, we plan to conduct preclinical studies on those peptides that we identified at the end of 2017. Now these peptides are being tested. I would like to note that this is another step towards achieving our main result – the development of methods for effective therapy and early diagnosis of oncological diseases,” Andrei I. Shapoval concluded.

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