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Dr. Max Crispin and Iona Easthope

Oxford scientists announce laboratory success using a new linker technique to bond cell-killing agents to cancer-targeting antibodies

October 1st 2015: Scientists at the University of Oxford have invented a new linker to attach a cancer-killing virus to a tumour-targeting antibody, in research published in the scientific journal Molecular Immunology today.

The new linker is built of molecular human components and is designed to bond a cell-killing virus to an antibody directed against a target cell, such as cancerous cell. Against Breast Cancer, who funded some of the research, hope that this method could be used to destroy secondary breast cancer cells that have trafficked from the breast to other parts of the body, namely the bone, liver, lung or brain.

Iona Easthope who performed some of the research says “We were excited to see that this linker connected a virus to the breast-cancer cell-targeting antibody in a stable manner at 37 degrees, as well as successfully retargeting the viruses to enter breast cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells.”

The re-targeting adaptor linker is an improvement on a similar product made up of bacterial components, which were recognized by the body as a threat and broken down before the treatment could be allowed to reach target cells and take effect.

Dr Max Crispin was the one of the lead investigators on the project. “Humanized bispecific adaptors offer the promise of a versatile retargeting technology that can exploit both clinically approved and new experimental therapeutic antibodies for cancer and other diseases. We have dedicated this research article to Dr. Chris Scanlan who started this project and sadly passed away after a short battle with cancer”.

One in five breast cancer cases result in fatal metastases, when breast cancer cells break away from the original tumour site and establish new tumours in bone, lung, liver or brain. The new linker could pave the way for better, more targeted treatment methods for many types of cancer, including Stage IV secondary cancers that have spread throughout the body.

For more information about Against Breast Cancer and how to get involved by volunteering or fundraising, please visit the Against Breast Cancer website or call 01235 534211

Against Breast Cancer

Against Breast Cancer is a charity dedicated to funding ground-breaking research to increase survival after a breast cancer diagnosis by focusing on secondary spread, the cause of all breast-cancer related deaths. We fund research that addresses critical gaps in scientific resources and knowledge to help doctors diagnose and treat secondary breast cancer faster and more effectively, and to understand factors that may increase or reduce the risk of secondary spread so that people can make informed diet and lifestyle choices.

To date, we have directly funded the collection of, and continue to fund the storage of over 23,000 blood and urine samples, provided annually by over 3,300 women with breast cancer from 56 hospitals across the UK in our Diet & Lifestyle Study, the largest national study of its kind. Researchers can determine differences between women who develop secondary breast cancer and those who do not by studying this collection of biological samples and dietary and lifestyle information provided at the same time.

Glycoprotein Therapeutics Laboratory

The Glycoprotein Therapeutics is based within the Oxford Glycobiology Institute at the University of Oxford. The laboratory aims to develop new therapies and vaccines by exploiting specialist knowledge and facilities in the field of glycobiology. The laboratory is led by Dr Max Crispin who has published over 60 papers and filed 4 patent applications including in the field of novel therapies for Breast Cancer. He is the co-founder of Immago Biosystems Ltd and the Against Breast Cancer Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford.

Contact information:

Nicola Winstone, Research Manager at Against Breast Cancer
T: (+44) 01235 534211 M: (+44) 07769114403 F: (+44) 01235 535109
Available to contact via mobile at any time

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Against Breast Cancer in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit