Genetic mutations help brain tumors evade targeting by immunotherapy treatments

March 20, 2017

Tumors of the brain and spinal cord, or gliomas, are among the most commonly occurring brain tumors. Although a majority of gliomas are classified as curable, these low-grade tumors have the potential to develop more aggressive traits and become resistant to tumor-targeting approaches, including immunotherapy.

In a study published this week in the JCI, Hideho Okada's lab at UCSF investigated whether acquired mutations in the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), which are common in low-grade gliomas, help these tumors become resistant to immunotherapy.

In both human astrocytes and mouse models of glioma, the IDH mutations impaired immune responses in the tumor environment by reducing the recruitment of T cells. Thus, the IDH mutations may help gliomas avoid anti-tumor targeting by therapies that rely on .

Importantly, inhibition of the mutant IDH enzyme enhanced the efficacy of a vaccine-based immunotherapy treatment in glioma-bearing mice. This finding suggests that combinatorial therapies may be able to counteract the effects of the IDH mutation to improve clinical responses to immunotherapy treatments for glioma.

Explore further: Attractive drug candidate identified to target glioma brain tumors

More information: Gary Kohanbash et al, Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations suppress STAT1 and CD8+ T cell accumulation in gliomas, Journal of Clinical Investigation (2017). DOI: 10.1172/JCI90644

Related Stories

Attractive drug candidate identified to target glioma brain tumors

December 15, 2016
In a paper published today in Cancer Research, researchers: 1) identify a biomarker enzyme associated with aggressive glioma brain tumors, 2) reveal the regulatory mechanism for that enzyme, and 3) demonstrate potent efficacy, ...

Histone deacetylase 6 inhibition enhances oncolytic viral therapy

October 20, 2015
Gliomas are extremely aggressive brain tumors that are resistant to standard cancer therapeutics. Oncolytic viral (OV) therapy, which uses engineered viruses to infect and target tumor cells for destruction by the immune ...

Signaling pathway suppresses brain tumors

December 4, 2015
Researchers at the University of Basel took a close look at a signaling pathway present in most organisms and found that it suppresses the formation of specific types of brain tumor. Their results have been published by the ...

Transplant drug could boost the power of brain tumor treatments

September 29, 2014
Every day, organ transplant patients around the world take a drug called rapamycin to keep their immune systems from rejecting their new kidneys and hearts. New research suggests that the same drug could help brain tumor ...

Genome-wide data can classify gliomas into subtypes

June 11, 2015
(HealthDay)—Genome-wide data can help classify subtypes of gliomas, according to two studies published online June 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers make breakthrough on immune system and brain tumors

September 27, 2012
In what could be a breakthrough in the treatment of deadly brain tumors, a team of researchers from Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State University has discovered that the immune system reacts differently to different ...

Recommended for you

CAR-T immunotherapy may help blood cancer patients who don't respond to standard treatments

October 20, 2017
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved ...

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Suicide molecules kill any cancer cell

October 19, 2017
Small RNA molecules originally developed as a tool to study gene function trigger a mechanism hidden in every cell that forces the cell to commit suicide, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study, the first to identify molecules ...

Fundamental research enhances understanding of major cancer gene

October 19, 2017
New research represents a promising step towards better understanding of a key cancer gene. A long-running collaboration between researchers at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge and the AstraZeneca IMED Biotech Unit reveals ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.