Extracellular matrix (ECM), nature’s microscopic sandwich, had recently made to the limelight, through the efforts of Dr. Daniel De Carvalho, who hailed from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Notably, its gene signature is of focus.
Dr. De Carvalho muses that ECM gene signature associated with response to immune therapy is vital as there is no mature way to predict patients that will respond accordingly well.
ECM has long since been accepted to be one of the hallmarks of cancer. Out of ten, ECM’s dynamics’ deregulations helps the said cancer progression. The experimental pursuit had identified a novel immune evasion signature.
Dr. De Carvalho went on to explain that ECM physically barricades the immune system when patients that were supposed to response do not. This then collectively helps to decide who should receive the immune therapy, besides hypothesizing why the patients might not have responded well previously - through the provision of the biomarker.
Hence the ultimate goal. To find a biomarker that helps clinicians to decide - might the patients requires immunotherapy. Should any patients respond poorly, they will receive a drug that targets ECM, and later responds with conviction towards the immunotherapy.
Sources: Nature Communication, University Health Network, Science Direct