Researchers discover how c-Cbl protein modulates tumor growth
The three studies wanted to shed light on the role of B cells since in the past, the presence of these cells in tumors has been dubbed as a predictor of heightened patient survival chances. However, there were reports of both anti- and pro-tumor roles for B cells.
One study , led by Dr. Jennifer Wargo of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, involved bulk RNA sequencing on cancer cells from a cohort of melanoma patients from a neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) trial conducted in the past. They discovered that the B cell markers were the most differently expressed genes in the tumors of the patients who responded to the therapy than those who didn’t respond.
Another study , by Dr. Wolf Fridman of INSERM, showed how the researchers examined the variability of clinical response of patients diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcomas have to treatments like ICB. Aside from this, the team worked on gene expression profiles in more than 600 tumors in various subtypes of soft-tissue sarcoma and the microenvironment in each tumor.
The study researchers said that the work confirms the immune subtypes in patients with soft-tissue sarcoma. The findings unveiled the possibility of B-cell-rich tertiary lymphoid structures or powerhouses to direct decision-making in treating patients. They added that the findings of the study can help open the door for formulating new treatments for other diseases as well.
The third study , undertaken by researchers at the Lund University, investigated the role of B cells in fighting the tumor. They discovered that the co-occurrence of tumor-related CD20-positive B cells and CD8-positive T cells was tied to better treatment outcomes.
The three new studies suggest that treatment options to enhance B-cell responses should be the focus of doctors to accompany T-cell-mediated immunotherapies to fight cancer. The studies pave the way for the development of new therapies, including those which may be improved by inducing B-cells to form in TLS after the patient has received T-cell-based immunotherapy.
All three studies may provide a starting line for future research focusing on B-cells and their ability to fight cancer. From there, new therapies can be developed to combat the deadly disease. Journal references: Helmink, B., Reddy, S., and Wargo, J. (2020). B cells and tertiary lymphoid structures promote immunotherapy response. Nature . https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1922-8 Petitprez, F., Reynies, A., and Fridman, W. (2020 ). B cells are associated with survival and immunotherapy response in sarcoma . Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1906-8 Cabrita R., Lauss, M., Sanna, A. et.al. ( 2020). Tertiary lymphoid structures improve immunotherapy and survival in melanoma. Nature . https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1914-8
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