The Texas State University media office announced that molecular biologists have created nanoparticles that attach to cancer cells and tag them with protein molecules that make the tumor vulnerable to immunotherapy.
Professor Jiang Wen from the university says: “Our method allows us to change the properties of solid cancer cells so that they become similar to leukemic tumors traditionally treated with immunotherapy. If these nanostructures work in a clinical setting, it will significantly weaken the types of cancer. cells that do not normally respond to immunotherapy.
As you know, various types of cancer resist the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy very effectively and often continue to spread throughout the body. To combat these types of cancer cells, biologists are creating various types of vaccines and immunotherapies to “teach” the immune system to destroy metastases and primary tumors on its own.
Professor Jiang Wen and his research team found a simple and effective solution to this problem after they discovered that immunotherapy-treated cancer cells produce large amounts of the SLAMF7 protein. The molecules of this protein are used by lymphocytes as a marker to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells. Based on this, the scientists hypothesized that the absence of SLAMF7 in cancer cells may be the reason for their resistance to immunotherapy, and based on this idea, they created nanoparticles that can adhere to the surface of cancer cells and distinguish them from other molecules. protein SLAMF7.
The results of the tests conducted by the researchers confirmed this hypothesis: lymphocytes actively destroyed cancer cells, which increased the effectiveness of immunotherapy.
According to the researchers, simple modifications to the structure of the nanoparticles they have created will make it possible in the future to enhance the effect of immunotherapy on other types of solid tumors, which are currently practically not affected by such methods of cancer treatment, which will significantly expand the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy.