Three Nature On The Same Day! Provides New Perspectives To Improve The Effectiveness Of Cancer Immunotherapy

- Jan 24, 2020-


Top academic journal Nature published three papers at the same time last week, providing a new perspective for improving the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.

Three independent studies from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Lund University, Sweden, make a key role in the immune system -B cells, standing in the spotlight against tumors.

When it comes to immunotherapy, many readers may not be unfamiliar. This innovative method of cancer treatment, by mobilizing the patient's own immune system to fight against tumors, has allowed many previously untreated cancer patients to miraculously escape the death claw.

Unfortunately, immunotherapy is not a panacea. Only about 20% of patients currently receiving immunotherapy receive lasting clinical benefits. Why do some patients have better results? If you can figure out the principles, it will help develop new therapies and benefit more patients.

Existing immunotherapy focuses on killer T cells in the immune system, improving their ability to recognize and attack cancer cells. The three papers also pointed out that T cells are not the only immune cells capable of fighting cancer.

These three studies have observed in groups of patients with different types of cancer that when B cells form a cluster of cells called "tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS)" in the tumor, patients receiving immunotherapy will Have better results.

Professor Fridman's research group analyzed the gene expression profiles of more than 600 soft tissue sarcomas and divided the samples into subgroups based on the characteristics of immune cells. They found that B-cells were the strongest prognostic factor, and that the B-cell-rich immune subgroup had the highest survival rate after receiving anti-PD1 mAb treatment in clinical trials.

The second study investigated the role of B cells in clinical samples of metastatic melanoma, and found that CD8-positive T cells and CD20-positive B cells appeared simultaneously, predicting a higher survival rate for patients. Analysis of the molecular phenotype revealed that the tertiary lymphatic structure plays a key role in the immune microenvironment of melanoma, giving T cells different phenotypes.

The third study first compared tumors that responded and failed to immunotherapy in melanoma patients. The results of large-scale RNA sequencing showed that B-cell markers were the genes with the most significant differences in expression between the two types of tumors. The research group then validated in two groups of patients with renal cell carcinoma and melanoma who were treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

"We found that B cells are not idle bystanders, but also make a meaningful contribution to the immune response against tumors," said study author Dr. Beth Helmink, University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center.

B cells are a type of immune cell that produces antibodies. Although it is unclear how B cells in the tertiary lymphoid structure work, scientists speculate that B cells on the front line of antitumor may produce antibodies to effectively fight cancer cells, or they may work by supporting T cells.

"Nature" commented highly on this finding, and published a special article review. Immunologist Professor Tullia Bruno pointed out in the review that this set of papers "is insightful and uses statistically reliable clinical data to bring B cells and tertiary lymphatic structures to the forefront of anti-tumor immunity." These results also point to a new direction for subsequent research. Combining T cell-mediated immunotherapy and B cell methods is expected to bring effective anticancer effects to more patients. (from,compile