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- Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
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- National Science Foundation
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Targeting the Interplay between Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal-Transition and the Immune System for Effective ImmunotherapyOver the last decade, both early diagnosis and targeted therapy have improved the survival rates of many cancer patients. Most recently, immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment options for cancers such as melanoma. Unfortunately, a significant portion of cancers (including lung and breast cancers) do not respond to immunotherapy, and many of them develop resistance to chemotherapy. Molecular characterization of non-responsive cancers suggest that an embryonic program known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is mostly latent in adults, can be activated under selective pressures, rendering these cancers resistant to chemo- and immunotherapies. EMT can also drive tumor metastases, which in turn also suppress the cancer-fighting activity of cytotoxic T cells that traffic into the tumor, causing immunotherapy to fail. In this review, we compare and contrast immunotherapy treatment options of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). We discuss why, despite breakthrough progress in immunotherapy, attaining predictable outcomes in the clinic is mostly an unsolved problem for these tumors. Although these two cancer types appear different based upon their tissues of origin and molecular classification, gene expression indicate that they possess many similarities. Patient tumors exhibit activation of EMT, and resulting stem cell properties in both thesemore »
Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer therapy that is associated with promising outcomes. However, most cancer patients either do not respond to immunotherapy or develop resistance to treatment. The resistance to immunotherapy is poorly understood compared to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Since immunotherapy targets cells within the tumor microenvironment, understanding the behavior and interactions of different cells within that environment is essential to adequately understand both therapy options and therapy resistance. This review focuses on reviewing and analyzing the special features of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which we believe may contribute to cancer resistance to immunotherapy. The mechanisms are classified into three main categories: mechanisms related to surface markers which are differentially expressed on CSCs and help CSCs escape from immune surveillance and immune cells killing; mechanisms related to CSC-released cytokines which can recruit immune cells and tame hostile immune responses; and mechanisms related to CSC metabolites which modulate the activities of infiltrated immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. This review also discusses progress made in targeting CSCs with immunotherapy and the prospect of developing novel cancer therapies.
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Experimental colitis promotes sustained, sex-dependent, T-cell-associated neuroinflammation and parkinsonian neuropathology
The etiology of sporadic Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains uncertain, but genetic, epidemiological, and physiological overlap between PD and inflammatory bowel disease suggests that gut inflammation could promote dysfunction of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Mechanisms behind this pathological gut-brain effect and their interactions with sex and with environmental factors are not well understood but may represent targets for therapeutic intervention.
We sought to identify active inflammatory mechanisms which could potentially contribute to neuroinflammation and neurological disease in colon biopsies and peripheral blood immune cells from PD patients. Then, in mouse models, we assessed whether dextran sodium sulfate-mediated colitis could exert lingering effects on dopaminergic pathways in the brain and whether colitis increased vulnerability to a subsequent exposure to the dopaminergic neurotoxicant 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We assessed the involvement of inflammatory mechanisms identified in the PD patients in colitis-related neurological dysfunction in male and female mice, utilizing mice lacking the Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 10 (RGS10)—an inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB)—to model enhanced NFκB activity, and mice in which CD8+T-cells were depleted.
High levels of inflammatory markers including
CD8Band NFκB p65 were found in colon biopsies from PD patients, and reduced levels of RGS10 were found in immune cells inmore » Conclusions
This study identifies peripheral inflammatory mechanisms in PD patients and explores their potential to impact central dopaminergic pathways in mice. Our findings implicate a sex-specific interaction between gastrointestinal inflammation and neurologic vulnerability that could contribute to PD pathogenesis, and they establish the importance of CD8+T-cells in this process in male mice.
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