Some tumor cells express a protein called CD47 that signals macrophage immune cells not to engulf and destroy them. Now researchers from Stanford University Medical Center have created variants of the receptor for CD47 that act as antagonists of CD47 and boost the effectiveness of antitumor antibodies (Weiskopf K et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1238856 [published online May 30, 2013]). The new variants had approximately 50 000-fold increased binding affinity for human CD47 relative to the wild-type receptor.
Hampton T. Newly Designed Protein Augments Efficacy of Anticancer Antibodies. JAMA. 2013;310(1):22. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7878