IMAGE: Neuroblastoma cells photographed through a confocal microscope. view more
Credit: Valeria Solari, MD, MRCS; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Investigators at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provide preclinical evidence that the presence of tumor-associated macrophages–a type of immune cell–can negatively affect the response to chemotherapy against neuroblastoma. Macrophage survival is supported by colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1). Using a small molecule inhibitor of CSF-1 named BLZ945, in combination with chemotherapy, investigators significantly reduced the number of macrophages within neuroblastoma tumors and improved the efficacy of chemotherapy in T cell deficient mice. These findings suggest the possibility that this combination therapy might be effective in patients with high-risk disease, even those who have limited anti-tumor T cell responses. The study was recently published in the International Journal of Cancer.
Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumor effecting children, and individuals with high-risk disease have a mortality rate of approximately 50 percent. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a type of immune cell in tumors that is known to promote cancer growth. In neuroblastoma, the presence of TAMs is an important predictor of poor outcomes for patients with high-risk disease.
While T cells are critical to
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