A two-for-one approach to boost melanoma immunotherapy

Source: Science Daily, July 2023

New research from Sanford Burnham Prebys has helped explain how melanoma evades the immune system and may guide the discovery of future therapies for the disease. The study found that a protein known to be active in immune cells is also active inside melanoma cells, helping promote tumor growth. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that targeting this protein with new drugs may deliver a powerful double hit to melanoma tumors.

“The immune system’s control of a tumor is influenced by both internal factors within tumor cells, as well as factors from the tumor’s surroundings," says first author Hyungsoo Kim, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys in the lab of senior author Ze’ev Ronai, Ph.D. “We found that the protein we’re studying is involved in both, which makes it an ideal target for new cancer therapies."

One of the most significant breakthroughs in cancer therapy in the last century is the development of immunotherapy, an approach that helps improve the immune system’s ability to fight cancer on its own without the use of toxic chemotherapy drugs.