NPS might be useful as “one component of a combinatorial immunotherapy” regimen for treating metastatic cancers, Dr Guo speculated, with NPS releasing tumor antigens and modifying the tumor microenvironment to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy drugs.

NPS reduces tumor microenvironments’ populations of immune-suppressing, tumor-promoting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulatory T cells (Tregs), Dr Guo said. NPS also appears to recruit DCs to tumor tissue, suggesting that NPS could serve an adjuvant for cancer vaccines.

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“Keep in mind, if not treated, those tumor-bearing animals struggle with extremely immune suppressive environments, including splenomegaly, extremely high levels of leukocytosis that is dominated by MDSCs, and Tregs, causing attenuation of cytotoxic T cells and their function,” he said.

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“Successful NPS treatment, however, reverses tumor-derived immune suppressive changes to immunocompetence.”

In a first-in-human proof-of-concept and safety study of NPS for ablating basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) of the skin, 7 of 10 BCCs treated in 3 patients were “completely free of basaloid cells when biopsied 14 weeks later; 2 of the 7 BCCs “partially regressed” and 2 exhibited seborrheic keratosis. Three BCC lesions disappeared “completely.”10

Dr Guo and colleagues seek next to validate the immunogenicity of NPS ablation in a human breast cancer model to “determine if there is a NPS-induced human immune response to breast cancer using in vitro and in-vivo approaches.”


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