Researchers use immune system to attack glioblastoma

Yale researchers use immune system to attack glioblastoma
Multi-colored markers of the immune system are captured in glioblastoma tumors. Credit: Yale University

The Yale laboratory of Sidi Chen, assistant professor of genetics in the Systems Biology Institute and Yale Cancer Center, has developed advanced gene-editing and screening technology to find new targets for cancer immunotherapy.

In a new study published Sept. 23 in Nature Biotechnology, Chen and colleagues report that using T containing modifications of those gene targets reduced tumors in a mouse model of glioblastoma, a that is especially difficult to treat.

The brain has a very limited immune system activity and therefore is not a particularly promising organ for immunotherapy, note the researchers. Chen's lab developed a sophisticated viral vector with an embedded transposon, or jumping gene, that facilitates the genetic screening capabilities of T cells.

Genomic screens of T cells uncovered one target, PDIA3, that when inhibited in T cells suppress glioblastoma tumor growth in mice. They also showed that knocking out PDIA3 in a specific type of T cells can enhance their cancer-killing properties in human glioblastoma cells.

Chen said similar techniques could be employed on different immune cells and other types of cancers that so far have been impervious to immunotherapy.


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Genome screen uncovers new targets for cancer immunotherapy

More information: Lupeng Ye et al. In vivo CRISPR screening in CD8 T cells with AAV–Sleeping Beauty hybrid vectors identifies membrane targets for improving immunotherapy for glioblastoma, Nature Biotechnology (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41587-019-0246-4
Journal information: Nature Biotechnology

Provided by Yale University
Citation: Researchers use immune system to attack glioblastoma (2019, September 25) retrieved 7 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-immune-glioblastoma.html
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