According to a new study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, a combination of experimental drugs has shown to extend survival among mice with lung cancer. Their results revolve around the immune system and specially T cells. These T cells are responsible for destroying ells which are infected by organisms like viruses. This combination increased the attack of immune cells on non-small cell lung cancer, leading to survival extension among mice.
This new study has been published online in Cancer Discovery and focuses the effect of a compound called SHP099 which blocks the action of SHP2. SHP2 is an enzyme playing important role in pathways that are abnormally activated in cancer types. In this study, SHP099 treatment of lung tumors caused by mutant KRAS prevented them from growing. These findings showed that some T cells were capable of killing tumor cells in these mice. The researchers also found that SHP2 inhibition also causes an influx of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (gMDSCs) into tumors.
Kwan Ho Tang, PhD, a research scientist says, “Our study results showed how one targeted drug could address a weakness in the other, creating a stronger anti-cancer immune environment around tumors.” “We would argue that this combination should be tried together in a clinical trial,” he added.
These experiments by the team suggest that additional immune checkpoint inhibitors could be added to the study in future examinations. The immune system uses checkpoints sensors that turn them off when they receive the right signal and spare normal cells from immune attack.
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