Sep 5, 2023

Study could help explain why certain brain tumors don’t respond well to immunotherapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A study led by researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center sheds new light on why tumors that have spread to the brain from other parts of the body respond to immunotherapy while glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer that originates in the brain, does not.

In people with tumors that originated in other parts of the body but spread to the , treatment with a type of immunotherapy called appears to elicit a significant increase in both active and exhausted T cells—signs that the T cells have been triggered to fight the cancer. The reason the same thing doesn’t occur in people with glioblastoma is that anti-tumor immune responses are best initiated in draining lymph nodes outside of the brain, and that process does not occur very effectively in glioblastoma cases.

To date, immunotherapy has not been effective in treating glioblastoma, but it has been shown to slow or even eradicate other types of cancer, such as melanoma, which frequently metastasizes to the brain.

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