Patients’ Immune System May Impact Cancer Immunotherapy
Higher or lower levels of certain immune cells in cancer patients may be associated with how well they respond to immunotherapy, according to preliminary results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).
The findings will be presented today at the AACR Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., by Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., UPMC Endowed Professor, chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, and co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at UPCI.
The research was an extension of the recently completed CheckMate 141 Phase III clinical trial co-chaired by Dr. Ferris, which showed that the immunotherapy nivolumab significantly increases survival and causes fewer adverse side effects in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.
However, the treatment was not equally effective in all the patients so Dr. Ferris and his team aimed to find out whether differences in the patients’ immune system profiles could be associated with better response to immunotherapy.
The researchers found that higher levels of tumor-associated immune cells (TAICs) expressing the PD-L1 protein were associated with longer overall survival and greater likelihood of response to the drug nivolumab. TAICs are immune cells that have infiltrated the tumor and are thought to play an important role in tumor growth.
In blood samples taken prior to the start of immunotherapy, the researchers also found that patients with higher levels of circulating CD8, or cytotoxic, T cells—also known as killer T cells—and lower levels of regulatory T cells were associated with better response to treatment.
“Our study shows that immune cells in the microenvironment around the tumor could play a critical role in how patients respond to immunotherapy. By determining the nature of these cells and how they are affected by treatments, we may be able to significantly improve the effectiveness of current therapies and help a greater number of patients,” said Dr. Ferris.
Could This Be a "Silver Bullet" for Preventing and Treating Colon Cancer?News
A team of scientists targeted the gene CtBP with a drug known as HIPP (2-hydroxy-imino phenylpyruvic acid) and were able to reduce the development of pre-cancerous polyps by half.READ MORE
FDA Grants Full Approval to Blinatumomab for Acute Lymphoblastic LeukemiaNews
TheFDA has changed its accelerated approval of blinatumomab (Blincyto®) for some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia to a full approval and expanded the approved indications for its use.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
6th Edition of International Conference on Pharmacognosy and Medicinal Plants
Apr 16 - Apr 17, 2018
11th International Conference on Cancer Stem Cells
Jun 11 - Jun 13, 2018