Immunotherapy Combination Destroys Tumors

Increasing immune cell infiltration into tumors induces the immune system to block tumor growth.

Increasing immune cell infiltration into tumors induces the immune system to block tumor growth.

By harnessing the power of the immune system, investigators may have found a significant new tool to fight cancer.

A study recently published in Nature Immunology found that increasing the infiltration of immune cells into tumors induces the immune system to block tumor growth. Combining this process with current immunotherapies was able to efficiently eradicate cancer cells.

The study found that chemokines, which are small molecules that can attract immune cells to inflammatory tissue, support the migration of lymphocytes into diseased tissues. Enzymes can degrade these molecules however, which can inhibit the influx of immune cells, the study noted.

Prior research has shown that oral administration of the DPP4 inhibitor sitagliptin can slow the development of several cancer types in mice. Furthermore, inhibiting DDP4 can increase the infiltration of T lymphocytes into tumors. This treatment combined with current immunotherapies destroyed the tumor.

With DPP4 inhibitors already approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the results from the study may quickly translate into clinical studies in humans, the researchers concluded. A proposal for a phase 1 clinical trial has already been filed to determine the efficacy of treatment with sitagliptin in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.