The researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found an allergy pathway that, when blocked, could unlease anti-tumor immunity in mouse models of NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer). This study shows that an allergy route can activate antitumor immunity. These findings were published published in the December 6 issue of Nature.
Senior study author Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Marc and Jennifer Lipschultz Precision Immunology Institute and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said, “Immunotherapy using checkpoint blockade has revolutionized treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung cancer, but currently only about a third of patients respond to it alone, and in most patients, the benefit is temporary.”
The aim of their program TARGET is to use single cell technology and artificial intelligence to identify molecular immune programs to dampen tumor immune response to checkpoint blockade. This checkpoint blockade is a type of cancer Immunotherapy that can work to unleash cancer-killing acitivity of T cells.
In the preliminary research among human, combining Immunotherapy with dupilumab which is an IL-4 receptor blocking antibody and is being used to treat allergies, asthma and to improve immune systems of the patients. In this study, they found that IL-4 blockade enhanced lung cancer response to checkpoint blockade in Mice and in six lung cancer patients. Among those, one patient whose lung cancer was growing despite checkpoint blockade had nearly cancer disappear after just three doses of allergy medication. In fact, his cancer remains controlled over 17 months later as well. The team is encouraged by the initial results and emphasize the need for larger clinical trials to validate the drug’s efficacy in the treatment of NSCLC. The investigators are now expanding the clinical trial and adding dupilumab to checkpoint blockade for larger group of lung cancer patients to study the effects in early stage lung cancer.
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