JUN 05, 2016 08:42 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 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
SEP 11, 2018
Videos
SEP 11, 2018
Eat Mediterranean Food and Live Longer?
In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It’s caught on all over the worl...
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 26, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 26, 2018
There's Nothing Weak About the Weak Force
The weak nuclear force, or weak force for short, is so named because it is the direct contrast to the strong nuclear force, the attractive force that binds...
SEP 29, 2018
Videos
SEP 29, 2018
How Researchers Study the Microbes in the Human Gut
Researchers are starting to learn a lot more about the huge number of microbes living in our gastrointestinal tract. But how?...
OCT 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 15, 2018
Picking a Landing Site On Mars is No Easy Task
When space agencies like NASA send landers and rovers to other places in the solar system to explore, one of the most challenging questions they’re c...
OCT 16, 2018
Videos
OCT 16, 2018
Methane regulations for oil and gas could soon be reduced
The EPA has proposed loosening requirements for testing and repairing methane leaks in drilling operations for oil and gas w...
Loading Comments...