UCLA study shows inhibition of gene helps overcome resistance to immunotherapy

Source: Eurek Alert!, January 2020

Los Angeles – Cancer immunology drugs, which harness the body’s immune system to better attack cancer cells, have significantly changed the face of cancer treatment. People with aggressive cancers are now living longer, healthier lives. Unfortunately, cancer immunology therapy only works in a subset of patients.

Now, a new study from scientists at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center helps explain why some people with advanced cancer may not respond to one of the leading immunotherapies, PD-1 blockade, and how a new combination approach may help overcome resistance to the immunotherapy drug.

The UCLA study, published today in the inaugural issue of the new scientific journal Nature Cancer, showed that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of the oncogene PAK4 overcomes resistance to anti-PD-1 therapy in preclinical models.

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