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Modulating the immune system to combat metastatic cancer

Date:
May 24, 2013
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Researchers have found that regulatory T cells that infiltrate tumors express proteins that can be targeted with therapeutic antibodies.

Cancer cells spread and grow by avoiding detection and destruction by the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system can help to eliminate cancer cells; however, there are many factors that cause the immune system to ignore cancer cells. Regulatory T cells are immune cells that function to suppress the immune system response.

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In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Ronald Levy at Stanford University found that regulatory T cells that infiltrate tumors express proteins that can be targeted with therapeutic antibodies.

Mice injected with antibodies targeting the proteins CTLA-4 and OX-40 had smaller tumors and improved survival. Moreover, treatment with these antibodies cleared both tumors at the primary site and distant metastases, including brain metastases that are usually difficult to treat. These findings suggest that therapies targeting regulatory T cells could be a promising approach in cancer treatment.

In an accompanying commentary, Cristina Ghirelli and Thorsten Hagemann emphasize that in order for this approach to be clinically relevant, it will be important to show that targeting regulatory T cells in metastatic tumors also blocks growth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Aurιlien Marabelle, Holbrook Kohrt, Idit Sagiv-Barfi, Bahareh Ajami, Robert C. Axtell, Gang Zhou, Ranjani Rajapaksa, Michael R. Green, James Torchia, Joshua Brody, Richard Luong, Michael D. Rosenblum, Lawrence Steinman, Hyam I. Levitsky, Victor Tse, Ronald Levy. Depleting tumor-specific Tregs at a single site eradicates disseminated tumors. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013; DOI: 10.1172/JCI64859
  2. Cristina Ghirelli, Thorsten Hagemann. Targeting immunosuppression for cancer therapy. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013; DOI: 10.1172/JCI69999

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Modulating the immune system to combat metastatic cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524122004.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2013, May 24). Modulating the immune system to combat metastatic cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524122004.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Modulating the immune system to combat metastatic cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130524122004.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

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