Combination immunotherapy targets cancer resistance

November 22, 2017 by Ziba Kashef, Yale University
Image shows infiltration of transplanted human cancer cells (yellow/orange) by two myeloid cell subsets (red and green) in a mouse model treated with combination immunotherapy. Credit: Yale University

Cancer immunotherapy drugs have had notable but limited success because in many cases, tumors develop resistance to treatment. But researchers at Yale and Stanford have identified an experimental antibody that overcomes this problem by targeting a wider range of immune cells linked to tumor growth.

Existing cancer immunotherapies act on only a fraction of immune cells implicated in the disease. In this study, the research team developed an antibody, KWAR23, to block a different set of known as . Many of these cells infiltrate tumors, triggering , inflammation, and resistance to treatment.

In both cell culture and in mouse models with human cell membrane proteins, the research team found that the antibody blocked a protein that would otherwise limit the tumor-killing ability of myeloid cells. In combination with an approved cancer immunotherapy drug, the antibody significantly limited tumor cell growth.  

The finding demonstrates a promising combination therapeutic approach to more effectively fight tumors, the researchers said. It will also lead to further research to examine whether the antibody is also effective in reducing more advanced and metastatic cancers.

The study is published in PNAS.

Explore further: Researchers uncover novel mechanism by which tumors evade cancer immunotherapies

More information: Nan Guo Ring et al. Anti-SIRPα antibody immunotherapy enhances neutrophil and macrophage antitumor activity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710877114

Related Stories

Researchers uncover novel mechanism by which tumors evade cancer immunotherapies

November 10, 2017
A Ludwig Cancer Research study led by Benoit Van den Eynde, Director of Ludwig Brussels, has identified a novel mechanism by which tumors of the aggressive skin cancer melanoma can resist cancer immunotherapy. Their paper, ...

Preclinical study finds antitumor effects of bispecific antibody

October 5, 2017
Chugai Pharmaceutical announced today that the preclinical study findings on its original bispecific antibody ERY974, a molecule that binds Glypican-3 and CD3 simultaneously, and that is currently under development as a Phase ...

New chimeric antibody that suppresses malignant cancers in dogs

August 25, 2017
Similar to humans, dogs live longer than before and an increasing number of them die from cancer. As seen in humans, dogs have malignant cancers that cannot be treated by existing therapies such as surgery, radiotherapy and ...

Cell surface protein may offer big target in treating high-risk childhood cancers

September 11, 2017
Oncology researchers studying high-risk children's cancers have identified a protein that offers a likely target for immunotherapy—harnessing the immune system in medical treatments. In cell cultures and animal models, ...

Tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes promote melanoma progression and resistance to therapy

September 19, 2017
In a multi-institutional collaborative study, scientists at The Wistar Institute and the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, have identified the role of tumor-infiltrating or tumor-associated B-cells ("TABs") in melanoma ...

Targeting blood vessels to improve cancer immunotherapy

April 12, 2017
EPFL scientists have improved the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy by blocking two proteins that regulate the growth of tumor blood vessels.

Recommended for you

Machine-learning algorithm used to identify specific types of brain tumors

March 15, 2018
An international team of researchers has used methylation fingerprinting data as input to a machine-learning algorithm to identify different types of brain tumors. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team ...

Higher doses of radiation don't improve survival in prostate cancer

March 15, 2018
A new study shows that higher doses of radiation do not improve survival for many patients with prostate cancer, compared with the standard radiation treatment. The analysis, which included 104 radiation therapy oncology ...

Joint supplement speeds melanoma cell growth

March 15, 2018
Chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement taken to strengthen joints, can speed the growth of a type of melanoma, according to experiments conducted in cell culture and mouse models.

Improved capture of cancer cells in blood could help track disease

March 15, 2018
Tumor cells circulating throughout the body in blood vessels have long been feared as harbingers of metastasizing cancer - even though most free-floating cancer cells will not go on to establish a new tumor.

Area surrounding a tumor impacts how breast cancer cells grow

March 14, 2018
Cancer is typically thought of as a tumor that needs to be removed or an area that needs to be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. As a physicist and cancer researcher, Joe Gray, Ph.D., thinks differently.

Obesity may promote resistance to antiangiogenic therapy for breast cancer

March 14, 2018
Obesity—which is already known to reduce survival in several types of cancer—may explain the ineffectiveness of angiogenesis inhibitors in the treatment of breast cancer. A research team led by Massachusetts General Hospital ...


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.