Researchers from the Tel Aviv University have discovered that some immune cells in the body of a patient with cancer stop fighting cancer after a time and instead begin protecting the tumor. This breakthrough by the Israeli researchers could enhance the efficacy of treatments for cancer, in particular brain cancer.
The researchers’ findings were reported in the “Cell Reports” journal.
The researchers found that these white blood cells, known as neutrophils, are effective in killing fungi and bacteria. Normally, these cells initially fight against glioblastoma before they stop and instead begin to protect the tumor, helping it grow.
Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest and most common types of brain cancer. It has an average life expectancy of one year to 15 months. This aggressive cancer usually occurs in the spinal cord or the brain and develops from cells known as astrocytes, which usually support nerve cells. While it may develop at any age, the cancer mostly develops in older individuals. Glioblastoma causes seizures, vomiting, nausea and headaches.
In an interview, lead study researcher Dr. Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski stated that the immune cells eliminated tumor cells while also recruiting other cells such as T-cells to help fight the cancer, noting that it was during this stage that they began guarding the tumor, which allowed it to grow more.
Friedmann-Morvinski explained that the neutrophils also secreted proteins that aided in the development of the tumors, adding that the now procancerous cells aggravated the damage that the tumor caused. The researchers made this discovery after they observed mice with glioblastoma. They then conducted an analysis of sequencing data from a number of glioblastoma patients in order to verify their hypothesis, which afforded them insight into how the disease progressed in every patient.
Friedmann-Morvinski forecasts that their research will likely pave the way to improving the efficacy of glioblastoma treatments. She explains that this information can be used to develop medications that may prevent the cells from becoming precancerous and protecting the tumor or blocking their effect altogether. The research team includes Prerna Magod, a PhD student who is currently focused on developing such medications.
Friedmann-Morvinski notes that this discovery will also allow researchers to find ways to keep the cells on the “good” side while also increasing the chances of treatments working effectively without the presence of cells that counteract its efficacy. She adds that this makes their findings as well as their effort to identify medications significant.
Fortunately, other companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are also engaged in looking for novel remedies to some of the most malignant forms of brain cancer. Patients can look forward to more efficacious treatments in the years to come.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
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