TTUHSC School of Pharmacy

Noted Cancer Journal Publishes Work by Abilene Researchers

News Release

June 16, 2014

CONTACT: Mark Hendricks, (806) 414-9280


A study led by researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Pharmacy in Abilene has resulted in the discovery that the blocking of the single receptor present on the surface of special type of white blood cells can reduce or even prevent metastatic spread of cancer to the lungs.

This study, titled "Complement C5a receptor facilitates cancer metastasis by altering T cell responses in the metastatic niche," was published online in the May 1 issue of "Cancer Research." The publication is one of the most prestigious journals related to oncology research.

"This work has profound and immediate clinical implications," said Associate Professor Maciej Markiewski, Ph.D. "It offers a preclinical rationale to translate complement-based immunotherapies to clinic, as a strategy to prevent or reduce metastatic progression."

Markiewski, who led the research team, said that preventing cancer spread to the vital organs, known also as metastasis, is a Holy Grail of cancer therapy.

"Ninety percent of cancer deaths are attributed to the metastasis process," Markiewski said. "The progress in this area, however, has been unsatisfactory since mechanisms that control metastasis remain the most poorly understood component of cancer natural history. The treatment options for patients with metastasis are rather limited and once metastases are present there is no cure available."












Markiewski conducted the study in collaboration with Magdalena Karbowniczek, M.D., Ph.D., from TTUHSC and David Fairlie, Ph.D., from the University of Queensland. Other authors include: SuryaKumari Vadrevu, Navin K. Chintala, Sharad K. Sharma, Priya Sharma, Clayton Cleveland, Linley Riediger and Sasikanth Manne from TTUHSC; Wojciech Gorczyca from Bioreference Laboratories in New Jersey; and Othon Almanza from Clinical Pathology Associates of Abilene. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.


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