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New treatment Strategy may thwart deadly brain tumors

Rakesh Jain | Via EurekAlert | December 23, 2019

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are important medications that boost the immune system’s response against certain cancers; however, they tend to be ineffective against glioblastoma, the most deadly primary brain tumor in adults. New research in mice led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University of Florida reveals a promising strategy that makes glioblastoma susceptible to these medications. The findings, which are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that such combination therapy should be tested in clinical trials of patients with glioblastoma, for whom there is no known cure.

Part of the reason glioblastoma does not respond well to immune checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapies is because cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) infiltrate the region surrounding glioblastoma tumors, where they contribute to immunosuppression, tumor progression, and treatment resistance. Thus, targeting these cells may augment immunotherapy and improve responses to treatment in affected patients… Continue reading.

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