APR 24, 2020 1:10 AM PDT

Combination Immunotherapy Allows Immune Cells To Target Tumors

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A drug combination of immunotherapeutic agents encourages immune cells to devour cancer cells according to findings published in Nature Communications.

By blocking the CD47 protein—a marker on cancer cells that prevents them from being tracked by immune cells—tumors can be vulnerable to immune surveillance.

Learn more about cancer and the immune system:

“In recent years, researchers have had considerable success in harnessing the immune system to fight some cancers, developing several drugs that have vastly extended survival,” explains study leader Wen Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Researchers began the inhibition process by administering the temozolomide (TMZ) therapeutic—a drug that promotes stress responses in cancer cells making the immune system more likely to ‘capture’ them.

“Although this drug also increased phagocyte consumption of the cancer cells, these results were also lackluster,”says Jiang, also a member of UT Southwestern's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"If a new therapy extends survival by even one to two months, it's considered a blockbuster drug," Jiang says. "Here, we're talking potentially about a significant proportion of patients who could be cured. Bridging the innate and adaptive immune systems could prove to be a major advance for GBM."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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