Research Identifies How Glioblastoma Develops Resistance to Immunotherapy

Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive cancer that grows quickly and spreads rapidly, originating as a growth of cells in the spinal cord or the brain. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen may have discovered how this type of cancer, which primarily effects adults, develops resistance to immunotherapy.

At first, the researchers thought that the cancer cells changed their DNA via mutation, helping them become treatment resistant. However, the researchers observed that when glioblastoma cells were subjected to immunotherapy, they behaved differently.

Joachim Lütken Weischenfeldt, a clinical professor at the Biotech Research and Innovation Center, led this research.

For their study, the researchers assessed and compared tumor materials prior to and after immunotherapy being administered. This allowed the scientists to identify patients whose tumor cells changed their appearance. Weischenfeldt revealed that they observed that these cells simply altered the way they behaved and looked, an easier process than mutation.

He explained that these cells changed their appearance to resemble a certain cell found in the bone marrow, which highlighted their plastic property. In addition to this, the researchers observed that T-cells, which usually eliminate cancer cells and macrophages, also underwent changes.

When cancer cells remain untreated, it makes it easier for them to protect themselves against attacks from T-cells. Immunotherapy prevents these cancerous cells from doing this.

In their report, the researchers explained that with altered appearances, cancer cells were able to avoid immunotherapy and protect themselves from attacks by T-cells by tiring the the T-cells out. The researchers noted that this combination made glioblastoma resistant to this innovative therapy as well as the natural defense mechanisms of the human body.

In their report, the researchers highlighted the need for effective and new treatment techniques.

Weischenfeldt hopes that this new research will make provisions for new therapies that are more effective in fighting glioblastoma’s unique resistance methods. He discussed how the proteins expressed by these tumor cells when they altered their appearance were unique to these cells and could be a possible avenue to explore.

He did call attention to the fact that this would take time, however, because treatment development to target a particular cell was complex and the right balance was needed to be able to fight the illness without causing major side effects in patients. Weischenfeltd and his colleagues are now focused on identifying other cancers that have the ability to evade treatments by changing their appearance.

The findings of this study were recently published in “Neuro-Oncology.”

With more insights being gleaned about the different mechanisms that make brain cancers hard to treat, drug-development companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) could soon bring to market treatment options that are more effective in comparison to the existing therapies.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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