Researchers at the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered inhibiting a previously known protein could reduce tumor burdens and enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments.
In order to investigate the role of the Yes-associated protein, or YAP, in T-cells in the cancer setting, scientists used mice genetically engineered to lack YAP in several T-cell populations, including regulatory T-cells, known as Tregs. This was the first time the relationship between YAP and Tregs has been explored.
The study was published in Cancer Discovery on June 15, 2018.
Tregs are important for health, because they prevent autoimmune diseases but can be a major obstacle in the mounting of immune responses to tumors and immunotherapy. YAP can be found in a subset of those regulatory T-cells.
Scientists tested the antitumor effects of YAP inhibitors alone and in combination with immunotherapies. Their encouraging results showed YAP plays a role in the suppression of antitumor immunity by Tregs and demonstrated by turning off YAP’s abilities, tumor killing with less restrained immune cells is possible.
Fan Pan, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor of cancer immunology, said blocking YAP or the signaling pathways under
Article originally posted at