In a recent study, researchers have established that a novel combination of two forms of immunotherapy can be highly effective in treatment of lung cancer. This new treatment uses one form of therapy to kill lung tumor cells and the second therapy triggers changes to the tumor. In the first therapy, they employ suppressed natural killer immune cells by extracting them for patients’ tumor or blood and then supercharging them for three weeks. The team conditions these cells by expanding and activating them with the purpose of improving their effectiveness. The supercharged cells are effective on their own and with the combination in another form of treatment, they are capable of creating a potentially revolutionary treatment.
Sophie Poznanski, the McMaster PhD student and CIHR Vanier Scholar who is the lead author of a paper published today in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, explains, “We’ve found that re-arming lung cancer patients’ natural killer immune cells act as a triple threat against lung cancer.”
These activated cells are able to kill lung cancer cells effectively. Also, they reactivate tumor killing by exhausted immune cells with patients’ tumor. In addition to this, they also release factors that sensitize tumors to another immunotherapy which is called immune checkpoint blockade therapy. This therapy works by unlocking lung cancer defense against the natural immune response of the body. It is effective in resolving even advanced cases of lung cancer. Thus, the combination of these two therapies induces robust tumor destruction against patient tumors which are initially non-responsive to therapy.
The research team said that it is a new treatment for lung cancer tumors with natural killer cells and it also converts the patients who are not responsive to PD-1 blockade therapy into highly responsive candidates for this effective treatment. They are now working to organize a human clinical trial of the combined therapies.
The information share in this blog is for educational purposes only.