Cancerous tumors called soft-tissue sarcomas provide a protein that converts immune cells from tumor-attacking to tumor-promoting. The study, published today in the peer-reviewed journalCell Reports, hopes to improve treatment for soft-tissue sarcomas.
The researchers focused on the tumor microenvironmentan ecosystem of blood vessels and other organisms recruited by tumors to provide them with nutrients and help them survive.
Tumors also recruit immune cells, according toJlenia Guarnerio, a research scientist with Cedars-Sinai Cancer, assistant professor of oncology and biomedical sciences. However, we found that tumor cells secrete a protein that improves their biology, thus instead they do the opposite.
The Soft-tissue sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that forms in the muscles, muscles, nerves, and joints. It most commonly occurs in the arms, legs, and abdomen, and causes death toll to over 5,000 people in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Guarnerio and her team discussed the presence of various soft tissue sarcomas in humans and laboratory mice. The majority of these tumors have a variety of immune cells called myeloid cells in their microenvironment, according to the researchers.
Because of their apparent lack of killing the tumor cells, experts suggested that they should do something to help tumor growth, according toStephen Shiao, the doctor''s thesis, the division director of the Division of Radiation Biology, who is also co-author of the study. Furthermore, our examination of tumor samples demonstrated that a large percentage of myeloid cells had adopted a tumor-promoting effect.
Investigators conducted a research into the tumor cells'' profiles and receptors on the surface of the myeloid cells. Guarnerio said the cross-talk between these two groups of cells was uncovered. These findings indicate that the tumor cells had high levels of a macrophage migration inhibitory factor [MIF], and that the myeloid cells had receptors to sense the MIF proteins. This helps them change their biology rather than block tumor growth.
Myeloid cells were able to penetrate the tumors when investigators collected tumors from cancer cells that didn''t express MIF, and tumor growth decreased.
This means that the myeloid cells might have directly targeted the tumors, or they might have activated other immune cells, such as T cells, to combat the tumors, according to Guarnerio.
The investigators believe this information may be used to develop new therapies against a soft-tissue sarcoma. A medication designed to prevent cancer cells from producing MIF might be tested in conjunction with existing therapies, for example, to see if it will improve outcomes for patients.
Despite its relatively low potential, soft-tissue sarcoma has proved resistant to our existing therapies, according to Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. Nevertheless, interventions aimed at identifying components of the tumor microenvironment, which have demonstrated promise against many solid tumors, have been only marginally tested in this study. This step may lead to much more effective interventions.
Guarnerio intends to continue these investigations and to begin answering many additional unanswered questions about soft-tissue sarcoma.
The majority of studies in cancer biology and immunotherapy have focused on carcinoma, the most common type of cancer. There has been much effort to investigate which types of immune cells infiltrate these tumors, as well as how carcinoma cells interact with immune cells, but there has been no research on sarcomas. We need to continue our investigation so that we understand the roles of many other cellsT cells and B cells, for example.