Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Gene linked to hair loss could be exploited to improve cancer immunotherapy

Gene linked to hair loss could be exploited to improve cancer immunotherapy

A gene that’s associated with an autoimmune form of hair loss could be exploited to improve cancer immunotherapy, suggests a new mouse study by Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) researchers.

The paper was published on line last month in the journal Cell Systems.

“While immunotherapies have shown great promise in cancer, most patients do not benefit from these treatments because their tumors are able to evade the immune system,” said study leader Angela M. Christiano, PhD, the Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology and Genetics and Development at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “But one way around this obstacle is to harness genes that cause the recruitment of T cells in autoimmune disease, and use them to attract T cells to kill tumors. In this study, we showed that a gene that recruits T cells in alopecia areata–a condition in which immune cells attack and destroy hair cells–is turned off in various types of cancer, protecting them from the immune system. But if we turn that gene back on, we can make those cancers vulnerable to the immune response.”

The study began with the recognition that autoimmune diseases and cancer represent opposite ends of the immune signaling spectrum. When the immune system is overactive, a patient may be at risk for autoimmune disease; when it’s underactive, cancer can evade the immune system and progress.

“We should be able to identify genetic signals that are hyperactive in autoimmune disease, and then harness those signals in tumors that have developed a way to avoid the immune response,” said lead author James Chen, PhD, a precision medicine fellow at CUIMC.

In a previous study, the research team identified such a genetic signal–a gene called named IKZF1–in alopecia areata. In this condition, an overactive IKZF1 gene leads to overproduction of immune cells, killing the hair follicles.

“The key immune cells in alopecia areata are the same cells that many cancers can evade. These so-called killer T cells are crucial for the success of cancer immunotherapies,” said Christiano.

In this study, the researchers investigated whether they could activate IKZF1 in tumor cells in order to attract T cells to tumors, mobilizing them to attack the cancer.

Using an algorithm designed by Chen, the researchers screened genomic and bioinformatic data on thousands of cancer patients in the Cancer Genome Atlas, searching for tumor types that had IKZF1 in their regulatory networks. The algorithm predicted several types of cancer, including melanoma, that would be amenable to targeted immunotherapy, and two types that would not.

The predictions were first tested in a mouse model of melanoma in which the tumors were genetically modified to express IKZF1. The mice were found to have increased levels of infiltrating immune cells in their tumors, compared to control mice with conventional melanoma, a sign that the tumors had lost as least some ability to evade the immune response.

“We were particularly struck that IKZF1-expressing tumors responded significantly better to anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 treatment. Tumor growth was almost completely suppressed,” said study co-author Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of genitourinary oncology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, co-director of the immunotherapy program, and associate director for clinical research of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at CUIMC.

The team then analyzed data from a previous study of melanoma patients with disabled IKZF1. Patients with disabled IKZF1 had higher recurrence rates and worse survival compared to other melanoma patients.

The team is currently searching for additional candidate genes that can similarly be used to enhance the response to immunotherapy in melanoma.

The algorithm also predicted that prostate cancer could be made more responsive to immunotherapy. In lab experiments, the team found that restoring IKZF1 activity in prostate tumor cells made them susceptible to immunotherapies. “Clinically, this is an especially exciting finding, since prostate cancer is generally very poorly infiltrated by immune cells. Turning these ‘cold’ tumors ‘hot’ could be a key to therapeutic success,” said Drake.

In addition, the algorithm correctly predicted that colorectal and kidney tumors would not respond to immunotherapy if IKZF1 expression was increased, since the gene was found to be inactive in these tumors.

Therapies based on these findings would be years away, in large part because different approaches would be needed to activate IKZF1 in humans. However, the approach could be used soon to predict whether patients are likely to respond to immunotherapy and to assess their prognosis.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles