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Potential boost to immunotherapy

Date:
March 30, 2020
Source:
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a pathway that regulates special immune system cells in lung cancer tumors, suppressing them and allowing tumors to grow. The scientists also figured out how to interrupt this pathway and ramp up the immune system to prevent tumor formation or growth, offering a potential boost to immunotherapy.
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Mount Sinai researchers have discovered a pathway that regulates special immune system cells in lung cancer tumors, suppressing them and allowing tumors to grow. The scientists also figured out how to interrupt this pathway and ramp up the immune system to prevent tumor formation or growth, offering a potential boost to immunotherapy, according to a study published in Nature in March.

Researchers analyzed human and mouse lung cancer lesions, specifically studying the highly specialized immune cells called dendritic cells, which are considered the generals of the immune system. Dendritic cells give other immune system cells, called T-cells, identifying information from tumors so the T-cells can recognize and fight the cancer. Certain genetic material in the tumors, however, tamps down the dendritic cells' function via this newly discovered immune regulatory pathway.

Scientists performed high-tech, single-cell sequencing and high-definition imaging on mouse and human tumors to study the dendritic cells' activity in lung cancer and adjacent noncancerous lung tissues. They identified a molecular pathway that dampens dendritic cells' ability to program T-cells to kill. This study also showed that reversing this pathway significantly improves tumor responses in animals.

Based on the findings, scientists are designing a clinical trial that they expect will enhance patients' response to an immunotherapy called checkpoint blockade, by adding a second therapy that blocks the immune regulatory pathway that decreases dendritic cells' function in tumors. Right now only about 20 percent of patients respond to checkpoint blockade therapies. The trial will be done in collaboration with Regeneron Inc.

"This study highlights the power of single-cell technologies to identify new therapeutic targets in cancer," said senior author Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute and Mount Sinai Professor in Cancer Immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, and Director of the Mount Sinai Human Immune Monitoring Center.


Story Source:

Materials provided by The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Barbara Maier, Andrew M. Leader, Steven T. Chen, Navpreet Tung, Christie Chang, Jessica LeBerichel, Aleksey Chudnovskiy, Shrisha Maskey, Laura Walker, John P. Finnigan, Margaret E. Kirkling, Boris Reizis, Sourav Ghosh, Natalie Roy D’Amore, Nina Bhardwaj, Carla V. Rothlin, Andrea Wolf, Raja Flores, Thomas Marron, Adeeb H. Rahman, Ephraim Kenigsberg, Brian D. Brown, Miriam Merad. A conserved dendritic-cell regulatory program limits antitumour immunity. Nature, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2134-y

Cite This Page:

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Potential boost to immunotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200330122409.htm>.
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. (2020, March 30). Potential boost to immunotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200330122409.htm
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Potential boost to immunotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200330122409.htm (accessed April 22, 2024).

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