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The latest study rolls out a new type of immunotherapy to help make more types of cancer treatable in the future.
FREMONT, CA: Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that improves the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It leverages substances made by the body or laboratory to enhance how the immune system works to find and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy for cancer has made significant advances, and several patients can now get effective treatments that were not available previously. However, many types of cancer do not respond to existing immunotherapy. A study from Karolinska Institute in Sweden published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports on a new type of immunotherapy that provides hope of more treatment options for cancer in the future. Read on to know more.
Cancer cells have the potential to reprogram immune cells in a way that advantages tumor growth. After years of research, it has been possible to exploit the immune system in the fight against cancer. Various antibodies can trigger immune system T cells to attack the cancer cells. Macrophages are a type of cells and play a vital role in the immune system, where they recruit T cells to an area that has been impacted by foreign organisms and regulate their function. Unfortunately, certain tumors develop methods to shut off the immune system, making the macrophages in the tumor block the T cells.
The latest study has developed a new type of immunotherapy in which antibodies activate the macrophages to support the immune system and kill the cancer cells instead. The study also illustrates that NK cells, another essential cell of the immune system, is primarily activated by this novel immunotherapy to work alongside the T cells to kill the tumor instead of existing immunotherapies, in which only the T cells are activated.
The study, which was conducted in partnership with Rockefeller University in New York, was initially a modeling study. The researchers then applied their discovery to human skin tumors to assay the transferability of their outcomes. These specific antibodies trigger the human macrophages, which activate the NK cells to kill the cancer cells.
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