Vanderbilt researchers are advancing the fight against cancer with technology that boosts the effectiveness of tumor-attacking T cells. The cutting-edge research was recently published in the journal Immunology.
Researchers say cancer exploits both the immune and cardiovascular systems to fuel their growth. They do this in part by creating new blood vessels that provide essential nutrients to rapidly dividing cancer cells. T cells in the immune system also use blood vessels as conduits to find and invade tumors. But the vessels in tumors are often abnormal and create barriers to the ability of T cells to locate and kill cancer cells.
However, using nanotechnology invented at Vanderbilt’s Immuno-Engineering Laboratory, researchers have discovered that they can reverse — or normalize — abnormal tumor angiogenesis by activating the interferon (STING) gene pathway, a component of the immune system that plays an important role in protection. infection with pathogens and the development of cancers.
The technology’s ability to reprogram the blood vessels of tumors could help make T cells more effective at eradicating cancer cells, said John T. Wilson, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Vanderbilt and corresponding author on the research paper.
said Wilson, who is also the principal investigator in the Immunology Engineering Laboratory and Chancellor College fellow.
In the post, the researchers also discuss testing activated nanoparticle (STAN) technology on surgically removed tumors from renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients. Consistent with findings from their experiments with mice, they found that STANs “displayed superior immunomodulatory activity,” providing “preliminary evidence supporting the potential use of STAN as a strategy to orchestrate anti-tumor innate immunity and vascular remodeling in human RCC.”
Such hacks are needed. This year, nearly 2 million new cancer cases and more than 600,000 cancer deaths are expected in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
“While this technology is not yet ready for use in cancer patients, our study reveals an exciting new strategy for improving response to cancer immunotherapy,” Wilson said.
Lihong Wang-Bishop et al, STING-activating nanoparticles normalize the vascular immune interface to stimulate cancer immunotherapy, Immunology (2023). DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.add1153
the quote: Nanotechnology Repaves Path for Cancer-Fighting T Cells (2023, May 10), Retrieved May 10, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-nanotechnology-repaves-path-cancer-fighting-cells. html
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