UCI-led study finds that cancer immunotherapy may self-limit its efficacy

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 — Most cancers immunotherapy involving medication that inhibit CTLA-4 additionally prompts an undesirable response that will self-limit its efficacy in combating tumors, in response to a brand new examine led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology & biophysics and member of the Institute for Immunology on the College of California, Irvine. Examine outcomes are revealed on-line within the journal Cell.

Utilizing an individual’s personal immune system – immunotherapy – to deal with most cancers may additionally stimulate T regulatory cells, that are important for stopping autoimmunity, during which the physique assaults wholesome cells and tissue, however restrict tumor management. Some anticancer medication of the checkpoint inhibitor household block the molecule CTLA-4 and activate each the CD8 and CD4 effector T cells, which kill most cancers. Utilizing intravital microscopy, a method that enables imaging of cells inside a residing organism, researchers discovered that CTLA-4 blockage additionally causes the enlargement of T regulatory cells, lowering the impact of immunotherapy.

“A lot of our information of the mechanisms by which immunotherapy works is targeted on the optimistic features of the physique’s response, however that therapy targets the entire immune system. On this examine, we investigated how Treg cells are activated inside the tumor mass. We found that Treg cells are repeatedly activated in most cancers. In flip, they use CTLA-4 to instruct dendritic cells to develop into inefficient activators of the immune system. Upon CTLA-4 inhibition, dendritic cells develop into extra energetic and promote the operate of effector and regulatory T cells on the similar time. This has the potential of limiting efficacy and will clarify the failure of immunotherapy in some sufferers,” stated Marangoni, corresponding creator on the examine.

Future analysis will deal with figuring out and eradicating undesirable immune reactions in different types of immunotherapy. Specifically, new methods have to be developed to lower the activation of Treg cells in a managed method in an effort to keep away from “deadly autoimmunity,” Marangoni stated: “The indiscriminate depletion of Treg cells would trigger the CD8 and CD4 effector T cells to assault our physique and doubtlessly kill us.”


The analysis crew additionally included physicians and students from Harvard Medical Faculty and Massachusetts Common Hospital in Boston, The College of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Heart in Houston, and Germany’s College of Cologne and College of Lübeck. This work was supported by a number of Nationwide Institutes of Well being grants, a Melanoma Analysis Basis award and a Sara Elizabeth O’Brien/Charles A. King Belief fellowship.

Concerning the College of California, Irvine: Based in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the celebrated Affiliation of American Universities and is ranked among the many nation’s high 10 public universities by U.S. Information & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is understood for its tutorial achievement, premier analysis, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has greater than 36,000 college students and affords 224 diploma packages. It is situated in one of many world’s most secure and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion yearly to the native economic system and $8 billion statewide. For extra on UCI, go to http://www.uci.edu.

Media entry: Radio packages/stations could, for a price, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI school and specialists, topic to availability and college approval. For extra UCI information, go to information.uci.edu. Further sources for journalists could also be discovered at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.



Contact: Pat Harriman



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