Home Medizin Neue Erkenntnisse darüber, warum die Immuntherapie bei einigen Krebsarten wirkt, bei anderen jedoch nicht

Neue Erkenntnisse darüber, warum die Immuntherapie bei einigen Krebsarten wirkt, bei anderen jedoch nicht

von NFI Redaktion

A multi-institutional study co-authored by scientists from the University of Texas at Arlington uncovered a mechanism by which cancer cells prevent the immune system from activating and attacking cancerous invaders.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports and sheds light on why immunotherapy treatments do not work in all people or all diseases. For example, certain cancers, including colon, pancreatic, prostate, and brain cancers, have stubbornly resisted immunotherapy. While breast cancer, esophageal cancer, as well as head and neck cancers often respond positively to treatment, the treatments sometimes do not work as intended. Researchers still do not fully understand why.

„Immunotherapy is an incredibly promising new approach to cancer treatment, but we still need to work on understanding why it does not work in all people or types of cancer,“ said Jon Weidanz, UTA’s deputy vice president for research and innovation.

He and Soroush Ghaffari, a UTA postdoctoral fellow, were co-authors of the study, along with colleagues from Leiden University in Leiden, Netherlands, and Karolinska University in Solna, Sweden. The team found that an important checkpoint in the immune system, called NKG2A, does not interact with its specific binding molecule expressed in cancer cells until the corresponding signal is received.

„The team concluded that monotherapies targeting the NKG2A receptor may not be effective without an inflammatory trigger,“ said Ghaffari. „This could explain why drugs that bind to the NKG2A receptor and disrupt this immune checkpoint were only effective when used in combination with other agents that can induce the necessary inflammatory signal.“

A second key finding of the study showed that certain cancers can prevent the immune system from activating its macrophages, which are specialized immune cells that play a crucial role in eliminating diseased or damaged cells.

„These data give us a new molecular understanding of why some immunotherapies work and others do not,“ said Weidanz. „These results will help us identify and treat more cancer types effectively with immunotherapy, so that more people can lead longer lives despite a cancer diagnosis.“

„These findings have implications on immune system research and the development of more effective immunotherapies,“ said Kate C. Miller, UTA’s vice president for research and innovation.

„These are exciting new research results that have the potential to impact people with cancer,“ Miller added. „This is another great example of the quality of biomedicine research we conduct here at UTA and with our partners at other institutions.“

Source:

University of Texas at Arlington

Journal reference:

Middelburg, J., et al. (2023). MHC-E peptide ligands for the checkpoint CD94/NKG2A are controlled by inflammatory signals, while LILRB1/2 receptors are peptide-indifferent. Cell Reports. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2023.113516.

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