Weekly Digests



CAR T cells get a boost inside lymph nodes

July 31, 2019

With the goal of improving the efficacy of CAR T cells in solid tumors and enhancing their functional persistence in all types of malignancies, Ma et al. developed a strategy to target CAR-detectable ligands to the lymph nodes in order to expand CAR T cells in the native lymph node environment. The results...

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to improve anti-CTLA-4 therapy

July 24, 2019

Targeting the checkpoint molecule CTLA-4 using antibodies has been relatively successful as a cancer immunotherapy, however, clinical benefits often come with severe and sometimes dose-limiting immune-related adverse events (irAEs). In a paper recently published in Cell Research, Zhang, Du, and Liu et al. investigated why different CTLA-4 targeting antibodies induce different degrees of...

Cancer escapes before you know it’s there

July 17, 2019

With the goal of detecting and treating cancer as early as possible, Mascaux and Angelova et al. analyzed biopsies of premalignant and malignant lesions from patients who ultimately developed lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and found that immune activation and subsequently immune escape occur in the pre-invasive stages of carcinogenesis. The results were...

Activation and exhaustion in adaptive NK cells

July 10, 2019

It is well known that chronic stimulation of the TCR on T cells leads to activation and exhaustion, but the effect of chronic stimulation on NK cells is not as well understood. To investigate this, Merino et al. induced chronic stimulation in CD3-CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cells, deemed “adaptive” NK cells, which have a genetic...

TOX is so exhausting!

July 3, 2019

In this special feature, we summarize five recently published papers that explore the role of the transcription factor TOX in exhausted CD8+ T cells, which are common in cancer and chronic infections, and are the major target of checkpoint blockade. Although the research groups utilized different models (acute infection, chronic infection, tumors) and...

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