According to new findings in the journal Cell Reports, researchers at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio, have a found a new molecule called NF-kB that aids cancer cells in evading the immune system. Scientists have known that NF-kB helps cancer cells avoid apoptosis, thereby promoting cancer development.
In this study, the researchers found that NF-kB may organize a network of genes involved with immune suppression resulting in the enabling of tumor cells to avoid adaptive immunity.
The researchers suggest that inhibiting NF-kB may make cancer cells more susceptible to destruction by the immune system. In addition, they found that NF-kB enables cancer cells to survive apoptosis when macrophages release tumor necrosis factor during the early development of tumors. Furthermore, the researchers found that NF-kB may play a role in immune suppression. When switching off genes related to immune suppression with active NF-kB, immune suppression was inhibited and tumor growth decreased.
The researchers suggest that fighting cancer may be more effective if immunotherapy that blocks NF-kB were to be developed.
Immune therapy – where patients receive treatment that helps their immune system fight disease – is a growing area in fighting cancer. Now, a new study promises to make such treatments more effective – it has found a molecule called NF-kB that helps cancer cells evade the immune system.
Reporting in the journal Cell Reports, senior investigator Denis Guttridge, an assistant professor at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues suggest immune therapy for cancer might be more effective if combined with drugs that inhibit NF-kB.