In Melanoma, Smoking Impacts Antitumor Immune Response

The immune system's response to melanoma both improves survival for untreated patients and predicts a patient's response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy. A British study has now identified several genetic factors that can be used to predict a patient's immune response to melanoma. The study has also identified a significant environmental cause of lowered antitumor immunity: cigarette smoking. For the study, published in Cancer Research , investigators used a bioinformatic analysis of 703 t...
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Immunotherapy Safe for Patients With HIV and Advanced Cancer

Patients infected with HIV are at increased risk of cancer. For example, Kaposi sarcoma is 500 times more likely to occur in patients with HIV than in the general population. Because of their compromised immune systems, patients with HIV are not able to partake in immunotherapy clinical trials. However, researchers at Georgetown University have now found that immunotherapy is quite successful in treating patients with HIV and advanced-stage cancers, producing side effects in only a slight percen...
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Using a Diabetes Drug to Help Fight Breast Cancer

​ Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have found a new use for the diabetes drug metformin in a combination treatment that is effective against MYC-driven breast cancer. Around half of breast tumors have increased levels of the MYC protein, an oncogenic transcription factor that is often overexpressed in cancers. Overexpression and amplification of the MYC gene have been linked to breast tumor progression and increased risk of relapse and death. Even though MYC plays a role ...
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New Therapeutic Target in Glioblastoma: FGL2

​ In an immune regulatory protein that promotes the progression of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) by suppressing the immune system, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found a potential therapeutic target. Until now, little research has been done about the role of immune-associated genes in the progression of brain tumors. "Classical wisdom is that brain tumor progression is linked to oncogene activation and tumor suppressor gene inactivation; however, genetic an...
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Helping Macrophages Overcome Cancer’s “Don’t Eat Me” Signal

Macrophages are immune cells capable of engulfing and devouring foreign, harmful, or diseased particles, including tumor cells. As such, they are important to the immune system's fight against cancer. However, many tumors avoid macrophages' attack by expressing CD47, a protein found on the surface of many cells throughout the body that sends a signal telling the macrophages not to eat the cells in question. In a study published in Nature Immunology , researchers have found a way to help macropha...
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