JUN 05, 2016 8:42 AM PDT

"Hungry Like the Macrophage" from Koch Institute Image Awards

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

In another release from the Koch Institute's Image Awards 2016, Ali Roghanian of the University of Southampton UK, visiting the Chen Lab at the Koch Institute, shows us his work on advancing cancer therapeutics. He aims to better understand how the immune system naturally combats pathogens, then harness those same methods for use in the battle against cancer.

If the immune system can be stimulated to recognize cancer as a pathogen, the body's own mechanisms can be used in combination with typical therapies, like chemotherapy. There has already been some success in increasing the efficacy of the treatment while reducing side effects. The idea is to make an antibody against a cancer cell taken from a patient, such that when it's put into the patient's body, it binds the cancer cell. Subsequently, a white blood cell or macrophage will see the cell as a foreign invader, and consume it.

In the winning image, a macrophage (blue) is seen engulfing cancer cells (orange) that have been tagged with a therapeutic antibody. The cancer cells can still outsmart the immune system, however. Work continues to improve the stability of binding antibodies to cancer cells and expand the mode of macrophage activation.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
JUN 30, 2020
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
Physicists often ponder in an unusual way: they use one unsolved problem as a hypothetic solution to another, hoping to ...
AUG 11, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
AUG 11, 2020
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
Researchers have found that people who use strains of cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive comp ...
AUG 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
Will Traps Solve the Invasive Lionfish Problem?
AUG 28, 2020
Will Traps Solve the Invasive Lionfish Problem?
Extravagant and spiny lionfish were once highly sought after by home aquarium hobbyists. These venomous fish are native ...
SEP 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Could There Be Life on Venus?
SEP 10, 2020
Could There Be Life on Venus?
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, reaching 465 degrees Celcius- a temperature hot enough to melt lead. Wh ...
OCT 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
OCT 24, 2020
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
Earlier this year, astronomers reportedly identified the 'closest black hole to Earth every discovered'. However ...
NOV 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
NOV 19, 2020
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
Sour beer isn't for everyone: its unique taste of acidity and tartness could excite some but turn off others.  ...
Loading Comments...