Statistical modeling technique helps track tumor cell diversity
To investigate this further, Hajaj and her colleagues created a mouse model that enabled the team to understand the role of SLAMF6 in melanoma treatment. They found that tumors in mice treated with SLAMF6-lacking T-cells shrunk faster and stayed smaller than tumors in mice treated with typical T-cells.
Additionally, they saw that the expression of a gene called LAG-3 increased in the SLAMF6-lacking cells, possibly to make up for the loss of the regulator. Combining SLAMF6-lacking T-cells with an antibody that blocks LAG-3 also increased their tumor-shrinking effect.
"The results from our study show that the absence of SLAMF6 unleashes powerful anti-tumor T-cells, which extended survival in our mouse model," explains senior author Michal Lotem, Head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital. "These findings may have important implications for cancer immunotherapy and could lead to the development of new melanoma treatments that turn off SLAMF6." Source:
eLife Journal reference:
Hajaj, E., et al. (2020) SLAMF6 deficiency augments tumor killing and skews towards an effector phenotype revealing it as a novel T cell checkpoint. eLife . doi.org/10.7554/eLife.52539 .
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