Stanford Researchers get funding for pediatric clinical trials of anti-CD47 cancer therapy

The Stanford team includes Kathleen Sakamoto, MD, PhD; Irv Weissman, MD; Sam Cheshier, MD; Jens-Peter Volkmer, MD; and Sid Mitra, PhD. The clinical trial will likely begin sometime in the next two years, the researchers say.

CD47 is a protein that acts as a “don’t-eat-me” signal to immune cells called macrophages. Normally, macrophage cells will consume and destroy cells that are damaged, infected or cancerous. But most cancers display a large amount of CD47 protein, which protects the cancer from attack by the body’s immune system. Blocking the CD47 signal using custom-tailored antibodies can help the macrophages attack and destroy cancer cells.

By Christopher Vaughan
10/3/13 

Researchers at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have been awarded $1.37 million from the charity CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to fund a pediatric clinical trial of a cancer therapy using antibodies to the protein CD47.

Years of experiments have shown that anti-CD47 antibodies can be effective against human cancers in animal models. The clinical trial of this cancer therapy in pediatric patients will complement a clinical trial of the anti-CD47 therapy in adult cancer patients that is expected to start in 2014.

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is a national non-profit foundation that aims to “fund and support targeted and innovative children’s cancer research with measurable results.” It is also a source of information and resources for those affected by children’s cancer.

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