Evaluation of: Jensen SM, Twitty CG, Maston LD et al. Increased frequency of suppressive regulatory T cells and T cell-mediated antigen loss results in murine melanoma recurrence. J. Immunol. 189(2), 767-776 (2012). While tumor immunotherapy has seen notable success in recent years, mechanisms that tumors utilize to escape immune responses have provided significant hurdles to maximal clinical benefit. Escape mechanisms such as antigen loss, decreased MHC expression, as well as tumor-mediated suppressive effects on antitumor immune responses, can cause the most potent antitumor immune response to be rendered powerless at the tumor site. In this study, the authors show that the adoptive transfer of tumor antigen-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells combined with tumor cell immunization can elicit regression of established subcutaneous tumors in lymphopenic, but not lymphoreplete, animals. However, using a suboptimal dose of transferred cells followed by vaccination, the authors identify the development of recurrent tumors with reduced antigen expression. These tumors could still be eradicated in similarly treated animals; however, they found that transferred CD4(+) T cells from animals with recurrent tumors acquired a suppressive phenotype. This work highlights the importance of understanding mechanisms of tumor escape, particularly underscoring the role of the tumor in modulating antigen-specific immune responses, and the critical importance of finding mechanisms to avoid the development of viable escape variants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain diseases such as cancers, neurodegenerative disorders, or trauma are frequently diagnosed with imaging modalities and sometimes with intracranial biopsies. Treatment response is similarly monitored, along with clinical indications. While these technologies provide important windows into the disease state, they fail to provide us a detailed molecular portrait of the disease and of the changes taking place during therapy. Exosomes are virus-sized nanovesicles derived from the endosomal system and are released extracellularly from essentially all cell types. Exosomes contain intracellular entities (proteins, nucleic acids, metabolites), membrane proteins and lipids, and even extracellular proteins bound to them. Exosomes may be considered as mini-surrogates of their cells of origin, with some content common to all cells/exosomes, but some of the content would be cell-specific. These vesicles are found in all biofluids in humans, and are thus accessible to “liquid biopsy” with harvest of vesicles from such fluids. Current challenges are to identify disease-related markers or panels of markers to distinguish the disease state. Here we will show examples of brain tumor markers found in/on exosomes from cell culture and patient sera, and we will suggest that aspects of the biology of disease may have a relevant place in the search for biomarkers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the past decades, anticancer immunotherapy has evolved from a promising therapeutic option to a robust clinical reality. Many immunotherapeutic regimens are now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for use in cancer patients, and many others are being investigated as standalone therapeutic interventions or combined with conventional treatments in clinical studies. Immunotherapies may be subdivided into "passive" and "active" based on their ability to engage the host immune system against cancer. Since the anticancer activity of most passive immunotherapeutics (including tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies) also relies on the host immune system, this classification does not properly reflect the complexity of the drug-host-tumor interaction. Alternatively, anticancer immunotherapeutics can be classified according to their antigen specificity. While some immunotherapies specifically target one (or a few) defined tumor-associated antigen(s), others operate in a relatively non-specific manner and boost natural or therapy-elicited anticancer immune responses of unknown and often broad specificity. Here, we propose a critical, integrated classification of anticancer immunotherapies and discuss the clinical relevance of these approaches.
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