Friday, March 27, 2015

The Missing Link in T-cell activation using a Vaccine, "The Danger Signal" may be due to an enzyme called IDO

The Missing Link in T-cell activation using a Vaccine, "The Danger Signal" may be due to an enzyme called IDO

As I research why some patients respond to therapies i.e. vaccination and other immunotherapy and others don’t, I ask WHY? In my quest to get the answer or answers, I came across a paper called “Marked Differences in Human Melanoma Antigen-Specific T Cell Responsiveness after Vaccination Using a Functional Microarray”.

Daniel S. Chen1,2#, Yoav Soen3#, Tor B. Stuge4, Peter P. Lee4, Jeffrey S. Weber5, Patrick O. Brown2,3, Mark M. Davis2,6* 1 Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America, 2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America, 3 Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America, 4 Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America, 5 Norris Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America, 6 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America

This is what I was looking for! It may hold the answer or could possibly point me in the right direction. In the paper I came across a diagram that peaked my interest. It was a comparison between responders and non-responders.

We concluded from these studies that IL-1 and perhaps IL-6 play a critical role in the differentiation and expansion of Th17 cells. Yoshihiro Miyahara et al
IL-6 controls Th17 immunity by inhibiting the conversion of naive CD4+ T cells into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.

Using in vitro and in vivo approaches, we determined that under neutral conditions, simultaneous activation of Tregs and naive CD4+ conventional T cells in the presence of APCs resulted in conversion of Tregs into IL-17–producing cells, and endogenous IL-1β was mandatory in this process according to Vassiliki A. Boussiotis et al. “IL-1β–Mediated Signals Preferentially Drive Conversion of Regulatory T Cells but Not Conventional T Cells into IL-17–Producing Cells”

IL-6 protects CD4 T cells from cell death but also inhibits the suppressive effect of T regs.

“Thus, the addition of IL-6 to the tumor microenvironment skews the balance toward Th17 cells in a murine model of pancreatic cancer. The delayed tumor growth and improved survival suggests that induction of Th17 in the tumor microenvironment produces an antitumor effect.” David C. Linehan  et al

They were looking at the cytokines secreted after the vaccine was given. When I saw what the cytokines were, I knew I was on the right track. These cytokines help in the differentiation of the CD4+ T-cells. What a find!!

Naïve CD4 T cells in the presence of   TGF-b and IL-2 and others differentiate into Tregs.

TGF-b accelerates the CTLA-4 expression by stimulated CD4+ CD25- T-cells

TGF-b requires CTLA-4 early after T-cell activation to induce FoxP expression generating CD4+ CD25+ Treg  Regulatory cells.

The Th-17 cells produce IL-17. .IL-17 induces the production of many other cytokines (such as IL-6, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IL-1β, TGF-β, TNF-α)


So what was the non-responder missing, IL-6.  With the missing IL-6, they weren’t able to produce Th-17 that secreted IL-17.

While TGF-β is a critical differentiation factor for Treg cells, IL6 completely inhibits the generation of Treg cells induced by TGF-β. Instead, IL6 and TGF-β together induce the differentiation of pathogenic Th17 cells. With IL-6 missing in the microenvironment, Treg Cells flourish.

If the CD4 + T cells differentiate into TH2 cells that produce IL-4, the other cells inhibited to produce IL-6. IL-4 was found to inhibit TNF-α and IL-1β by activated monocytes almost 100 %. The Secretion of IL-6 was decreased by approximately 80 % in the presences of IL-4 Cytokine. TE Velde et al 1990

 They were missing “The Danger Signal”.

Friendly inflammation “The Danger Signal”

Most of the time you have no notion of the microbial life-and-death struggle being waged within your body. At other times, though, you are acutely aware of the exact location of the battleground, thanks to the unmistakable signs of inflammation — heat, pain, redness, and swelling. Inflammation, the buildup of fluid and cells at the point of infection/cancer, is put into motion by cytokines — proteins that are released into the blood by the innate immune system when it encounters germs. Cytokines function like police dispatchers. They signal there's a problem, which activates the immune system's highway patrol force: the circulating lymphocytes of the adaptive immune system. These lymphocytes cruise the highways of the blood vessels and lymphatic system. In response to the chemical signal from the cytokines, increased blood flow rushes these circulating cells to the trouble spot.

 “The CD8+ T-cell-mediated Immune Response to Eradicate the Tumors

 “Three major events must occur to induce CD8+ T cell–mediated, tumor-protective immunity against syngeneic melanoma. First, the T-cell receptor must be triggered by a (or multiple) self antigen–derived peptide MHC class I complex . Therefore, this event depends entirely on appropriate antigen presentation, which is most efficiently provided by mature dendritic cells. Peripherally tolerant or “ignorant” self-reactive T-cell clones, once properly activated, may serve as tumor-specific effector T cells .Second, simultaneously with T-cell receptor triggering, a distinct second costimulatory signal must be delivered, mediated by IL-2, B7-1, or B7-2, which engage IL-2 receptors and CD28 on the surface of the T cell, respectively. A source of these cofactors for effective CD8+ T-cell stimulation can be provided by CD4+ T cells that release critical amounts of IL-2, or by mature dendritic cells that display an increased level of B7-1/B7-2 costimulatory molecules on their cell surfaces. Third, inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, IL-17 and IFN-γ provide a third signal that acts directly on T cells, referred to as the “danger signal”. This signal was found to optimally activate TH1 differentiation and lead to clonal expansion of T cells.


The responder was able to produce inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, IL-17 and IFN-γ provides a third signal that acts directly on T cells, referred to as the “danger signal”. This signal was found to optimally activate TH1 differentiation and lead to clonal expansion of T cells and invoke a robust immune response to the Melanoma Cancer.

Conclusion:  Based on my observation, the cytokine that ties this “Danger Signal” to the immune system is IL-6.

  • IL-6 protects CD4 T cells from cell death but also inhibits the suppressive effect of Tregs.
  • IL-6 controls Th17 immunity by inhibiting the conversion of naive CD4+ T cells into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.
So what is causing the lack of IL-6 in the non-responders? The IDO enzyme. This enzyme catalyzes the degradation of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan to N-formylkynurenine.

IDO enzyme degrades tryptophan and through the GCN2 kinase pathway inhibits the transcription of IL-6. Without the transcription of IL-6, the IL-6 cytokine cannot be produced leading to the T-cell differentialtion toward the T Regulatory cell instead of the TH17 phenotype.

My guess is the tumor induced enzyme called IDO may the Missing Link to intiating an immune response.IDO produced by Tumor cells significantly inhibited interleukin (IL-2) expression and proliferative response in T-cells and increased apoptosis (death) of T-cells. Tryptophan depletion is known to halt cell cycle progression by triggering the antiproliferative GCN2 pathway in lymphocytes.

Also, IDO is upregulated in antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC) by autocrine IFN-γ released as a result of Treg cell–induced CTLA-4/B7-dependent cell-cell signaling.

It is well established that IDO expression by APCs or tumors can inhibit immune responses.

Tryptophan depletion by IDO-expressing tumors is a common mechanism of immune evasion inducing regulatory T cells and inhibiting effector T cells.

So adding IDO inhibitor to a combinatorial therapy like Yervoy for melanoma cancer should see a synergist response.





Bristol Myer Squibb and Incyte Corporation are following this Science along

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~Charles Darwin~

Take Care,

Jimmy B


Greetings to One and All

This Blog is dedicated My Brother Kenny B. who passed away in the late 1970's with Cancer before the Internet.

It was he, who showed me How to live and give back. He was wise beyond his years.

Kenny B

Jimmy and Dee

Carepage: Jimmybreitfeller
Jimmy Breitfeller

My Profile as of 2009

My photo
Last July (2005)I was riding my bicycle to work at the Eastman Kodak Research Labs about 3 miles from home. I was wearing a knapsack to carry my things to and from the labs. I started noticing an ache on my back. So I decide to go to the dermatologist. To make the long story short, it was cancer. I knew from my research that I would be needing adjuvant therapy. So I started communicating with Sloan Kettering, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center, and a couple of others including the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong. I realized that by telling my story, I might help someone else out there in a similar situation. So to all who are linked by diagnosis or by relation to someone with melanoma, I wish you well. Stay positive, read as much as you can (information helps to eliminate the fear associated with the unknown), and live for today, as no one can predict what tomorrow may bring. Jimmy B. posted 12/15/08


The information contained within this Blog is not meant to replace the examination or advice of your Oncologist or Medical Team. The educational material that is covered here or Linked to, does not cover every detail of each disorder discussed.

Only your physician/Oncologist can make medical decisions and treatment plans that are appropriate for you. But, An Educated Consumer is a Smart consumer.

As Dr. Casey Culberson Said:

"The BEST melanoma patient is an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in his or her treatment

Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Just to let you know I posted the first draft of the Melanoma and the “Magic Bullet” (Monoclonal Antibodies). on Melanoma Missionary In the Shared File Section. you can download it for 19.95 (Only kidding) it is Free for the taking.

It is 33 pages long and may help you in your quest for the Yellow Brick Broad. Just to let you know it is only the first draft. Revisions are sure to come. I wanted to get it to the people that need it the most, the Melanoma Patients.


So, where does Interluekin-2 (IL-2) come into play? According to Byung-Scok et al and recent reports, IL-2 is not needed for developmental CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells in the thymus but does play an important role in the maintenance and function in the peripheral.18 Peripheral is defines as secondary system outside the bone marrow and thymus. It entails the site of antigen, immune system interaction. IL-2 is required for the peripheral generation of Tregs based Abbas’s and colleagues research.19

IL-2 prevents the spontaneous apoptosis of the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells. It has been reported that patients with multiple advance-stage tumors have elevated levels of Tregs within the tumor microenviroment.20 Interluekin-2 is the survival factor for CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells.21 If the addition of IL-2 is on or before the maximum propagation of the CD4+ T cells, the Tregs population can increase 5-fold in a 96 hour period based on certain growth mediums.

By controlling the addition of the endogenous IL-2, one has a knob to turn and can lead to the control of the expansion of the Tregs. When you combined this control with the anti-CTLA-4 blockage, you can shift the balance of the immune response.

Now here is the catch. The maintenance and function of the CD8+ T-cells require CD4+ cells which secrete IL-2. So we don’t want to deplete the CD4+ cells, we want to control the expansion of the Tregs which are a subset of the CD4+ cells. It has been postulated by some researchers that the Anti-CTLA-4 blockage also suppresses the Treg function in a different mechanism. By using IL-2 as the rate limiting factor, we can suppress the CD4+ CD25+ Treg cell expansion by controlling the concentration and timing of the Inerluekin-2 at the tumor microenvironment.

The Interluekin-2 plays another role in this Melanoma Maze. In a study by Janas et al, Il-2 increases the expressions of the perforin and granzyme A, B and C genes in the CD8+ T-cells. This increase expression causes the CD8+ T-cells to mature into Cytoxic T Lymphocytes (CTLs). The exogenous IL-2 is required for the granzyme proteins. As stated previously, CTLs have cytoplasmic granules that contain the proteins perforin and granzymes. A dozen or more perforin molecules insert themselves into the plasma membrane of target cells forming a pore that enables granzymes to enter the cell. Once in the tumor cell, these enzymes are able to breakup (lyse) the cell and destroy it. This is the beginning of the end for the cancer cells. The tumors begin to shrink and the rest is history,

On the other hand, prolong therapy with Il-2 can result in causing apoptotic death of the tumor- specific CD8+ T-cells.23

Clearly in a clinical setting, timing, dose, and exposure to these drugs play a major roll in the immunotherapy, and can have dramatic effects on the outcome.

All it takes is that one magic bullet to start the immune reaction..

Melanoma And The Magic Bullet (Monoclonal Antibodies)

Public Service Announcement

A call for Melanoma Patients by Dr. Steven A Rosenberg

"We continue to see a high rate of clinical responses in our cell transfer immunotherapy treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma", Dr. Rosenberg said.

"We are actively seeking patients for these trials and any note of that on a patient-directed web site would be appreciated."

If you would like to apply for his trials, here is the website and information.

Dr. Rosenberg's information

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

For the Warriors

The Melanoma Research Alliance has partnered with Bruce Springsteen, the E Street Band, and the Federici family to alleviate suffering and death from melanoma. Please view Bruce Springsteen’s public service announcement inspired by Danny Federici. Danny was the E Street Band’s organist and keyboard player. He died on April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

Source Fastcures blog

Join the Relay for Life!!!


Dear Family and Friends,

I’ve decided to take a stand and fight back against cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event right here in my community! Please support me in this important cause by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below.

To donate on line now, click here to visit my personal page.
Jimmy B AKA Melanoma_Missionary

Relay For Life® is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people worldwide to:

CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

REMEMBER loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

FIGHT BACK. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Keep the Fire Burning!!!



Jimmy Breitfeller
Turn off Music before you "Click to Play"
Signs of Melanoma Carcinoma Skin Cancer

How Skin Cancer Develops by " : Dermatology"

Call for Patients with Unresectable Liver Metastases Due to Melanoma

Delcath Systems Granted Orphan-Drug Designations for Cutaneous and Ocular Melanoma

Delcath is actively enrolling patients in a Phase III clinical trial testing its proprietary drug delivery system, known as Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion (“PHP”), with melphalan for the treatment of ocular and cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the liver.

This NCI-led trial is enrolling patients at leading cancer centers throughout the United States. Commenting on these orphan-drug designations, Richard L. Taney, President and CEO of Delcath, stated, “These favorable designations are important steps in our efforts to secure Delcath’s commercial position upon conclusion of our pivotal Phase III trial for metastatic melanoma. We remain steadfast in our commitment to become the leader in the regional treatment of liver cancers and we continue to enroll patients in this study, and advance our technology and the promise that it offers to patients with these deadly forms of melanoma and other cancers of the liver, all with limited treatment options.”

Orphan drug designation, when granted by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development, allows for up to seven years of market exclusivity upon FDA approval, as well as clinical study incentives, study design assistance, waivers of certain FDA user fees, and potential tax credits.

Current Trial Centers

Phase I Study of Hepatic Arterial Melphalan Infusion and Hepatic Venous Hemofiltration Using
Percutaneously Placed Catheters in Patients With Unresectable Hepatic Malignancies

James F. Pingpank, Jr., MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
Suite 406, UPMC Cancer Pavillion
5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412-692-2852 (Office)
412-692-2520 (Fax)

Blog Archive

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Call For Melanoma Patients!!!!

Dr. Rosenberg Has a New Clinical Trial.

Our latest treatment has a 72% objective response rate with 36% complete responses.

We are currently recruiting patients for our latest trial.

Is there some way to post this “Call for Patients” on the web site?

Steve Rosenberg

Dr. Rosenberg's Clinical Trials

(For a copy of the research paper.. see My Shared files)

The news headlines shown above for Melanoma / Skin Cancer are provided courtesy of Medical News Today.