Weekly Digests



A message for macrophages: how tumors prime the pre-metastatic niche

September 29, 2021

Before cancer makes any metastatic moves, it drives the development of pre-metastatic niches in certain tissues, priming a local environment to support a future tumor. These pre-metastatic niches often contain polarized immunosuppressive macrophages; however, exactly how these macrophages acquire that phenotype is not well understood. In a recent study, Morrissey et al. explored this...

RNA to the rescue: localized cytokine delivery shapes antitumor responses

September 22, 2021

Treatment of tumors with cytokines to boost antitumor immune responses is limited in the clinic due to systemic adverse events. Intratumoral delivery of cytokines may overcome these issues and improve therapeutic efficacy. Hotz and Wagenaar et al. thoroughly investigated the efficacy of local delivery of mRNA encoding a mixture of cytokines alone or...

Dream team: TGFβ and PD-L1 targeting aligns with radiotherapy to create a beneficial immune environment

September 15, 2021

Since radiotherapy (RT) can boost immune priming, it can be a great tool to convert immune “cold” tumors into “hot” immune environments, making way for effective checkpoint inhibition therapies. However, RT may also remodel the tumor microenvironment (TME), creating barriers to immune infiltration and antitumor effects. Given that one of the main contributors...

Arming CARs with RNA to boost immune responses

September 8, 2021

Treatment of solid tumors with CAR T has various barriers to overcome to be effective. To improve efficacy, boosting the immune response by delivering pattern recognition receptor (PRR) agonists more specifically to immune than tumor cells might improve responses, given the known role of some PRRs to drive tumor progression. To do this, Johnson...

Tvax: A vaccine made from T cells

September 1, 2021

Therapeutic cancer vaccines consistently show great promise, but often fall short of expectations. Past studies have successfully used dendritic cells (DCs) to carry antigens to tumors, but DCs can be difficult to obtain and manipulate in large numbers. T cells, on the other hand, are readily available, easy to modify and expand (due...

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