Weekly Digests



M2 to M1; macrophage reprogramming can be done!

September 25, 2019

An immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment is one of the biggest hurdles to successful immunotherapy. In many tumors, the presence of M2-polarized macrophages is to blame for immunosuppression. For Zhang et al., the possibility of reprogramming macrophages from the pro-tumor M2 phenotype to a pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype without inducing systemic inflammation was the goal in...

The CAT’s meow: low-affinity CD19 CAR T cells show strong response with low toxicity in pediatric patients with ALL

September 18, 2019

Aiming to determine how the affinity of a CAR for its target impacts efficacy and toxicity associated with CAR T cell treatment, Ghorashian et al. developed a low-affinity single-chain variable fragment (scFv) targeting CD19, compared it directly to the high-affinity scFv in a currently approved CAR product in vitro and in mice, and...

Silencing TAP makes the tumor a little louder

September 11, 2019

Tumors with high neoantigen burdens tend to respond well to immunotherapy, but patients whose tumors express few or no neoantigens may not derive the same benefits. Enhancing the immunogenicity of tumors in a way that is clinically relevant and broadly translatable could be a way to enhance immunotherapy response rates. Building on previous...

Not redundant after all: improved T cell responses with dual PD-1 axis blockade in pancreatic cancer

September 4, 2019

Aiming to elucidate the role that neoantigens play in the response of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) to immunotherapy, particularly in a subset of patients with PDA that is infiltrated by T cells, Burrack et al. developed a new mouse model expressing a neoantigen to study the fate of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells during...

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