Scientists have identified a new immunotherapy strategy for malignant brain tumors
Scientists say that they have discovered a potential new target for malignant brain tumor immunotherapy, which has so far defied ground-breaking cancer treatment focused on harnessing the immune system of the body.
The scientists said the molecule, called CD161, is an inhibitory receptor that they found on T cells isolated from fresh samples of brain tumors called diffuse gliomas. Gliomas include glioblastoma, the most aggressive and incurable type of brain tumor.
Furthermore,’ Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy Research at Dana-Farber, said, ‘we have shown that this mechanism is also important in a variety of other major human cancer forms, including melanoma, lung, prostate, and liver cancer.
In analyzing the RNA-seq data, the researchers identified the CD161 protein, encoded by the KLRB1 gene, as a potential inhibitory receptor.
Subsequently, the researchers inserted T cells with the edited KLRB1 gene into the cerebrospinal fluid of some of the rats, and T cells that had not deleted the KLRB1 gene. In both animal models of gliomas, transmission of gene-edited T cells delayed tumor growth and “conferred a significant survival benefit,” the scientists said.