Weekly Digests



How our genes let the tumors get away

November 29, 2017

How does the immune system sculpt the tumor genome even before the tumor adapts counteracting immune evasion mechanisms? Marty et al. hypothesized that antigenic oncogenic mutations are eliminated by the immune system in the early stages of tumorigenesis, and this process is dependent on which oncogenic peptides can be effectively presented by an...

What’s in your gut? The gut microbiome influences the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy

November 22, 2017

Responses to immunotherapy vary due to a number of factors, and according to two recent papers published in Science, the gut microbiome is definitely one of them. Both papers indicated that diversity of bacteria and the abundance of certain types of bacteria can affect patients’ response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy for some cancer types...

What’s keeping natural killer cells in check?

November 15, 2017

In a recent paper published in Nature, Molgora et al. demonstrated that interleukin-1 receptor 8 (IL-1R8), which is a negative regulator of the IL-1 receptor (ILR) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways, acts as a checkpoint for natural killer (NK) cell maturation and function, and removing this checkpoint could affect tumorigenesis and metastasis. Although...

Treg cells are stronger dead than alive

November 8, 2017

T regulatory (Treg) cells are known for their immunosuppressive role in the tumor microenvironment, but surprisingly, their death might only make them stronger. In a paper published in Nature Immunology, Maj et al. observed that while live CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs are heavily recruited to tumors, they also undergo apoptosis in the tumor microenvironment (TME)...

PD-1 inhibition: it’s not just for antibodies anymore

November 1, 2017

As anti-PD-1 antibody therapy can be costly and carries a risk of an autoimmune reaction, Taylor et al. explored the possibility of using a glycogen synthase kinase GSK-3 inhibitor (GSK-3i) as a small molecule inhibitor to downregulate PD-1 in the treatment of cancer. In a recently published paper in Cancer Research, the team...