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

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women

August 17, 2017
Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H. Chan School ...

Scientists develop novel immunotherapy technology for prostate cancer

August 17, 2017
A study led by scientists at The Wistar Institute describes a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer based on the use of synthetic DNA to directly encode protective antibodies against a cancer specific ...

Scientists develop blood test that spots tumor-derived DNA in people with early-stage cancers

August 16, 2017
In a bid to detect cancers early and in a noninvasive way, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center report they have developed a test that spots tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in blood and have used it to ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

Researchers find 'switch' that turns on immune cells' tumor-killing ability

August 16, 2017
Molecular biologists led by Leonid Pobezinsky and his wife and research collaborator Elena Pobezinskaya at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published results that for the first time show how a microRNA molecule ...

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.