Oct 3, 2018

Forcing Cancer to Put up a Broken Shield

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A new discovery might make immunotherapy applicable to more patients.

Led by Dr. Alicja Copik, scientists at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine have discovered that it might be possible to make cancer immunotherapy work for a larger portion of patients by employing PM21-activated natural killer (PM21-NK) cells [1].

Study abstract

Anti-PD-1/anti-PD-L1 therapies have shown success in cancer treatment but responses are limited to ~ 15% of patients with lymphocyte infiltrated, PD-L1 positive tumors. Hence, strategies that increase PD-L1 expression and tumor infiltration should make more patients eligible for PD-1/PD-L1 blockade therapy, thus improving overall outcomes. PD-L1 expression on tumors is induced by IFNγ, a cytokine secreted by NK cells. Therefore, we tested if PM21-particle expanded NK cells (PM21-NK cells) induced expression of PD-L1 on tumors and if anti-PD-L1 treatment enhanced NK cell anti-tumor efficacy in an ovarian cancer model. Studies here showed that PM21-NK cells secrete high amounts of IFNγ and that adoptively transferred PM21-NK cells induce PD-L1 expression on SKOV-3 cells in vivo. The induction of PD-L1 expression on SKOV-3 cells coincided with the presence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the abdominal cavity and within tumors.

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