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FRED HUTCHINSON CANCER RESEARCH CENTER STUDY FINDS THAT KILLER CELLS CAN BE ISOLATED TO FIGHT VIRUS IN IMMUNE-COMPROMISED PATIENTS

FRED HUTCHINSON CANCER RESEARCH CENTER STUDY FINDS THAT KILLER CELLS
 CAN BE ISOLATED TO FIGHT VIRUS IN IMMUNE-COMPROMISED PATIENTS
 SEATTLE, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, scientists have been able to transplant an effective immune response into patients for a specific disease, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said today. Findings from a study conducted by Drs. Stanley Riddell and Philip Greenberg, investigators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, on the development of killer cells directed at a virus which causes pneumonia, will be published in the July 10, 1992, journal of "Science."
 According to Riddell and Greenberg, this study demonstrates that transferred immune cells can persist for a long time and retain their activity. This work could impact future cancer and AIDS therapies.
 The study was conducted using bone marrow transplant patients. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the major causes of death for transplant patients since their immune systems are suppressed for a long period of time. During the study, Riddell and Greenberg isolated specific killer T cells (white blood cells that orchestrate much of the body's immune defenses) from bone marrow donors. These killer T cells, that seek out and destroy other cells infected with the CMV, were identified and extracted from the donors' blood. Large numbers of these killer T cells were then grown in large numbers in a laboratory environment. The cloned killer cells were administered to the corresponding marrow recipient once a week for four weeks.
 The results were encouraging: The cells functioned for over a month after the last infusion and retained their capability of killing CMV-infected cells. None of the patients suffered reactions to the infusions.
 Adopting the body's own defensive systems to fight disease has long been a dream of researchers and physicians. This study proves that such an approach can work. The Greenberg/Riddell team is currently working to adapt its approach for HIV-infected patients undergoing bone marrow transplants for AIDS-related lymphoma. The team is continuing to explore applications of this approach for the treatment of malignancies.
 -0- 7/9/92
 NOTE TO EDITORS: Drs. Greenberg and Riddell will be available Friday, July 10, 10 a.m., at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1124 Columbia Street, Seattle, to answer any questions about their study.
 /CONTACT: Susan Edmonds of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 206-667-2896/ CO: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


LM-SF -- SE010 -- 8103 07/09/92 21:21 EDT
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Date:Jul 9, 1992
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