Hadassah

Pro-Tumor White Blood Cells Discovered at Hadassah

Tuesday, Feb 3 2015

Researchers at the Hadassah Medical Organization and Hebrew University have found that the most common form of white blood cells, called neutrophils, contain at least three distinct subtypes. Some fight the development of cancer, while others provide a hospitable environment for their growth.

The research findings could lead to new cancer-fighting therapies that seek to boost the anti-tumor neutrophils while limiting the proliferation of pro-tumor neutrophils.

In the last decade new approaches to cancer have involved activating the patient’s immune system against cancer cells, while not harming nearby healthy cells. Recently, however, researchers have discovered that there are healthy cells which surround the tumor that play an important role in enhancing cancer development. Thus, while neutrophils, which comprise between 50-70 percent of all white blood cells, are traditionally associated with fighting infections, accumulating data suggest they also play an important role in tumor biology. The Hadassah-Hebrew University scientists, working with mouse tumors and human blood samples, found that in early stages of the disease, tumor-limiting neutrophils prevail, but as cancer progresses, the tumor-promoting neutrophil subpopulation becomes dominant. As the authors explain:

“We identified a heterogeneous subset of low-density neutrophils (LDNs) that appear transiently in self-resolving inflammation, but accumulate continuously with cancer progression. LDNs display impaired neutrophil function and immunosuppressive properties, characteristics that are in stark contrast to those of mature, high-density neutrophils (HDNs). Proper understanding of the effect of tumors on neutrophils, as well as the way these cells support or fight cancer, could help us develop strategies to direct the immune system against the tumor, and potentially improve cancer treatment in general and immunotherapy in particular."

The research study, led by Dr. Zvi Fridlender, at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center’s Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, and Dr. Zvika Granot, at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC) in the Faculty of Medicine, is highlighted in "Phenotypic Diversity and Plasticity in Circulating Neutrophil Subpopulations in Cancer" in the January 22, 2015 on-line issue of Cell Reports.

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Marathon Runner Pays Tribute to Hadassah Medical Team

After successfully running in the 2017 Jerusalem Marathon, Gil Troy pays tribute to Prof. Meir Liebergall, Director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Orthopedic Surgery Department, and his medical team, who made this run possible.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Reversing the Odds with Technology and Expertise

It could be a young patient with a virulent flu. Or a man having a severe asthma attack. Or a pregnant woman with a complication of pregnancy.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Cypriot Health Minister Helps Save Israeli Patient

Whether it was a newborn baby with a severe heart defect or a pregnant woman with an unusual ectopic pregnancy, the Hadassah Medical Organization has been known to save the lives of Cypriot patients by helicoptering them to its hospital for complex emergency treatments. Recently, however, it was the Cypriot Health Minister who helped save the life of an Israeli patient.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Top-Tier Turkish Journalists Receive Inside View of Hadassah Hospital

A delegation of top-tier Turkish journalists, accompanied by representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this month, marking the first time a high-level Turkish delegation has come to Israel since the new reconciliation agreement was signed between Israel and Turkey.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More