A new form of immunotherapy reactivates the response to hormone treatment in advanced prostate cancer, a study in mice and human prostate cancer cells has found.
Hormone therapy is a mainstay of prostate cancer treatment – but tumour cells can grow resistant, leading to a hard-to-treat, advanced form of the disease.
The new study found that blocking a protein produced by a type of immune cell – known as granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells – restored sensitivity to hormone therapy.
Drugs that block this protein, called IL-23, already exist and are used for autoimmune diseases such as the skin condition psoriasis.
Clinical trials are now planned to assess the possible benefit of this new form of immunotherapy alongside the next-generation hormone therapy enzalutamide, in men with advanced prostate cancer.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, worked with colleagues at the Institute of Oncology Research in Switzerland on the study, which was published in the prestigious journal Nature today (Wednesday).
The research was supported by funders including the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the US, Prostate Cancer UK, the Movember Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
The researchers studied mice, along with tumour and blood samples from prostate cancer patients treated at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, to
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