New research builds on Nobel-winning immune checkpoint blockade work
Immunotherapy’s promise in the fight against cancer drew international attention after two scientists won a Nobel Prize this year for unleashing the ability of the immune system to eliminate tumor cells.
But their approach, which keeps cancer cells from shutting off the immune system’s powerful T-cells before they can fight tumors, is just one way to use the body’s natural defenses against deadly disease. A team of Vanderbilt University bioengineers today announced a major breakthrough in another: penetrating tumor-infiltrating immune cells and flipping on a switch that tells them to start fighting. The team designed a nanoscale particle to do that and found early success using it on human melanoma tissue.
“Tumors are pretty conniving and have evolved many ways to evade detection from our immune system,” said John T. Wilson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering. “Our goal is to rearm the immune system with the tools it needs to destroy cancer cells.
“Checkpoint blockade has been a major breakthrough, but despite the huge impact it continues to have, we also know that there are a lot of patients who don’t respond to these therapies. We’ve developed a nanoparticle to find tumors and deliver a specific type of molecule that’s produced naturally by our bodies to fight off cancer.”
That molecule is called cGAMP, and it’s the primary way to switch on what’s known as the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway: a natural mechanism the body uses to mount an immune response that can fight viruses or bacteria or clear out malignant cells. Wilson said his team’s nanoparticle delivers cGAMP in a way that jump-starts the immune response inside the tumor, resulting in the generation of T-cells that can destroy the tumor from the inside and also improve responses to checkpoint blockade.
While the Vanderbilt team’s research focused on melanoma, their work also indicates that this could impact treatment of many cancers, Wilson said, including breast, kidney, head and neck, neuroblastoma, colorectal and lung cancer.
His findings appear today in a paper titled “Endosomolytic Polymersomes Increase the Activity of Cyclic Dinucleotide STING Agonists to Enhance Cancer Immunotherapy” in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Daniel Shae, a Ph.D. student on Wilson’s team and first author of the manuscript, said the process began with developing the right nanoparticle, built using “smart” polymers that respond to changes in pH that he engineered to enhance the potency of cGAMP. After 20 or so iterations, the team found one that could deliver cGAMP and activate STING efficiently in mouse immune cells, then mouse tumors and eventually human tissue samples.
“That’s really exciting because it demonstrates that, one day, this technology may have success in patients,” Shae said.
The Latest on: Cancer Immunotherapy
[google_news title=”” keyword=”cancer Immunotherapy” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Cancer Immunotherapy
- Microbial signatures linked to immunotherapy response across cancerson March 1, 2024 at 7:47 pm
The microbiome can identify those who benefit from combination immunotherapy across multiple different cancers, including rare gynecological cancers, biliary tract cancers and melanoma.
- Buy Rating Justified: Shattuck Labs’ Breakthrough in Cancer Immunotherapy and Strong Financialson February 29, 2024 at 9:58 pm
Kaveri Pohlman has given his Buy rating due to a combination of factors related to Shattuck Labs’ promising developments in cancer immunotherapy. Pohlman is optimistic about the company’s unique CD47 ...
- Use of Allogeneic NK Cells for Cancer Immunotherapyon February 29, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Combining NK cell-based immunotherapy with chemotherapy schemas ... of allogeneic NK cells in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.  Hydrocortisone and IL-15 were used for the ex vivo ...
- New microbiome insights could help boost immunotherapy for a range of rare cancerson February 29, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Australia, and collaborators have identified specific strains of bacteria that are linked with a ...
- New approach detects T cells in "cold" tumors, paves way for broader immunotherapyon February 28, 2024 at 10:45 pm
Miller and Cohen wanted to take a closer look at T cell responses to "cold" tumors, and researchers with the LJI Center for Cancer Immunotherapy were eager to collaborate. UC San Diego Moores Cancer ...
- More Cancer Patients May Benefit From Personalized Immunotherapyon February 28, 2024 at 3:59 pm
Miller and Cohen wanted to take a closer look at T cell responses to “cold” tumors, and researchers with the LJI Center for Cancer Immunotherapy were eager to collaborate. UC San Diego Moores Cancer ...
- ‘Pioneering’ breakthrough paves way for new breast cancer treatmenton February 28, 2024 at 1:36 am
Researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research, through tests on mice, have found a way to adapt a new cutting edge type of immunotherapy treatment, which traditionally has had limited success in ...
- A step toward personalized immunotherapy for allon February 27, 2024 at 4:00 pm
New research opens the door to developing vaccines or therapies to increase T cell numbers and treat many more types of cancer than currently thought possible.
- Promising Combination Therapy May Help Target Triple-Negative Breast Canceron February 26, 2024 at 6:31 am
Combining immunotherapy and radiation may help treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype known for its limited treatment options, a recent study suggests. In the study, published in Cancer ...
- What Is Immunotherapy?on February 9, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to detect and attack cancer cells. An oncologist (or, a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and ...
via Bing News