Jun 20, 2023

Pre-Clinical Study Shows Benefits to Targeting the Lymph Node for Cancer Treatment

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have improved the landscape of cancer research over the past decade. These therapies, which target a patient’s own immune system aiming to make it stronger and more equipped to fight cancer, have provided novel and beneficial therapeutic options for patients with advanced and metastatic disease.

While ICIs can induce long-term responses and cures in patients with limited therapeutic options, they present significant challenges. First, different patients exhibit different levels of responsiveness to ICIs. So, when one patient achieves a cure, another with a similar type of cancer may remain non-responsive. While we don’t fully understand the reasons behind the disparate responsiveness of ICIs, this remains an active area of research globally. Second, ICI use can elicit toxicities known as immune-related adverse events (irAEs). In some patients irAEs can be managed and thus tolerable, especially given the anti-cancer effects. However, some patients experience severe irAEs that can significantly hinder the quality of life of cancer survivors. In some cases, serious and life-threatening irAEs can even require treatment discontinuation.

A pre-clinical study recently published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Cancer Research explores a potential regimen that may help confront both of these challenges. The researchers hypothesized that ICIs, if targeted directly to the lymph node (LN), could both enhance the anti-tumor response and reduce the associated irAEs.

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