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Making Pancreatic Tumors Visible to the Immune System

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Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to cure or even treat. Now, a new strategy devised by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine has succeeded in making pancreatic tumors visible to the immune systems of mice and vulnerable to immune attack, reducing cancer metastases by 87%. The paper describing the findings published online today in Science Translational Medicine.

“Today’s checkpoint inhibitor drugs work well against some types of cancer but only rarely help people with pancreatic cancer,” said Claudia Gravekamp, Ph.D., corresponding author of the paper and associate professor of microbiology & immunology at Einstein and a member of the National Cancer Institute-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center. “The problem is that pancreatic tumors aren’t sufficiently ‘foreign’ to attract the immune system’s attention and can usually suppress whatever immune responses do occur. Essentially, our new therapy makes immunologically ‘cold’ tumors hot enough for the immune system to attack and destroy them.”  Read more . . . 


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