Weekly Digests



Tcf1+ progenitor-like T cell subsets sustain antitumor responses

February 13, 2019

Two articles, recently published back to back in Cell, identify important roles for T cells expressing Tcf1 (encoded by Tcf7), a transcription factor known to play roles in maintaining a relatively undifferentiated T cell state, promoting self-renewal and T cell memory. Kurtulus and Madi et al., working primarily with the MC38-OVA colon carcinoma...

Koch Institute Immune Engineering Symposium 2019

February 6, 2019

Last week, the ACIR team attended the Koch Institute Immune Engineering Symposium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This week’s extensive special feature covers select talks from the conference. Robert Schreiber opened the symposium by examining the role of MHC II and CD4+ T cells in tumor control, particularly with the backdrop that many tumors do...

Dysfunction: what’s in a name?

January 30, 2019

To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying response and resistance to immunotherapy, Li, van der Leun, Yofe, and Lubling et al. set out to molecularly characterize the expressed gene sets of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in order to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the heterogeneity within and between cancer patients. The results were recently published...

Communication is key in PD-1 blockade

January 23, 2019

The efficacy of immunotherapy is dependent on a variety of factors and cells in the tumor microenvironment, and understanding these complex interactions is critical to understanding and improving the efficacy of treatment. To study some of these interactions, Garris and Arlauckas et al. used real-time intravital imaging, RNA sequencing, and a series of...

NKG2A blockade releases the brakes on CD8+ T cells and NK cells

January 16, 2019

With the success of immune checkpoint blockade in some cancer patients, but failure in many others, scientists are always on the lookout for new checkpoints to target. The inhibitory receptor NKG2A is found on many NK cells and few CD8+ T cells in peripheral blood. It heterodimerizes with CD94 and, upon binding its...

The shape of intratumor heterogeneity

January 9, 2019

Most tumors exhibit a high degree of genetic and functional heterogeneity, but how that heterogeneity is established and evolves in situ under immune pressure has been difficult to study. To tackle this obstacle, Milo et al. established a mouse model of MYC-driven B cell lymphoma with a large degree of genetic diversity, both...