By reprogramming the blood vessels of the tumor, it would be possible to improve the efficiency of immunotherapy.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have succeeded in improving the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy by blocking two proteins that regulate the growth of tumor blood vessels, according to a study published in the medical journal Science Translational Medicine.
Cancer immunotherapy aims to strengthen or restore the capacity of the patient’s immune system and to recognize and attack cancer. But tumors are tackling several strategies to counter immune attacks, limiting the effectiveness of immunotherapy to only a minority of patients.
EPFL researchers have increased the performance of immunotherapy against different types of cancer by reprogramming the blood vessels of the tumor.
LIMITING THE GROWTH OF CANCER CELLS
The researchers targeted two proteins, called VEGFA and ANGPT2, that tumors generate to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Stopping the activity of these proteins can slow the growth of blood vessels, reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients and starve cancer cells
For this, scientists tested an antibody, the A2V on experimental models of breast cancer, pancreas and melanoma.
They have discovered that it offers certain therapeutic benefits because this antibody blocks metastases.
An interesting discovery was that A2V not only reduced most of the tumor’s blood vessels, but also reversed the structures of those that remained, making them similar to normal blood vessels, and more permeable to the arrival of anti-tumor T cells, “explained Professor De Palma. In fact, A2V promotes “extravasation” of T cells in tumors, a process necessary to initiate an immune response against the tumor.
cancer immunotherapy doubles the survival of patients with recurrent head and neck cancer after chemotherapy remission, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers from the London Cancer Research Institute and the Royal Marsden Trust Foundation in the United Kingdom conducted a study with 361 patients suffering from aerodigestive tract cancers. For one year, 240 patients with remitting or metastatic head and neck cancer received nivolumab, and the remaining 121 patients were treated with one of 3 conventional chemotherapies, including docetaxel, or cisplatin. In the study, scientists found that 36% of patients treated with nivolumab were still alive, while only 17% of patients who had been treated with chemotherapy had survived.