according to the American Cancer Society.
HGSOC is lethal in part because it is often resistant to chemotherapy. Immunotherapy, a treatment that uses a person’s immune system to fight disease, has shown promise in many cancers, but methods that use immunotherapy have yet to show success. public in HGSOC.
An immunotherapy approach targets proteins called checkpoint receptors that act as a brake that activates the immune system. Substances that inhibit receptors at these checkpoints release this brake, allowing the immune system to attack cancer cells.
“Cancer can develop without obvious symptoms. The most common sign of ovarian cancer is abdominal swelling as the disease progresses, which is when most women are diagnosed.“, said Schlaepfer, PhD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
The researchers found that activating a signaling protein important in tumors upregulated the expression of a protein called CD155 that binds to a checkpoint receptor called TIGIT on immune cells Translate.
In fact, the tumor is building a safe environment for cancer cells to grow and evade detection by the immune system in part by maintaining high CD155 levels as a shield against attack. of the immune system.
In a preclinical model of aggressive ovarian cancer, the researchers found that an oral anti-FAK drug that reduces CD155 and other checkpoint proteins. When used in conjunction with immunotherapy that blocks TIGIT, an elevated immune response was observed against ovarian cancer cells. This, in turn, leads to smaller tumors and longer survival times.
Several companies are testing FAK inhibitors and others have TIGIT checkpoint receptor blocking antibodies in clinical trials. In HGSOC tumors, where high levels of CD155 and active FAK are common, the results of this study provide compelling support for targeting FAK and TIGIT as part of a novel immune-enhancing therapeutic strategy. .