February 22, 2024

Study: Protein Indicates Likely Success of Cancer Immunotherapy

Original source here.

Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have discovered a way to potentially predict the success of immunotherapy treatment in cancer patients.

Immunotherapy involves encouraging the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. This can be complicated by the cancer cells “hiding” within the body or the immune system itself being reluctant to attack the cancer cells due to the threat to healthy surrounding cells.

And, while it has been proven to be a successful treatment against cancer, immunotherapy is only effective in around 40 percent of patients.

The Technion researchers discovered that a protein in the blood called STING, which activates the immune system, is especially pronounced in people with tumors that are responsive to immunotherapy.

The researchers tested their hypothesis on 1,237 patients with different forms of cancer and the new finding is expected to make it easier to select immunotherapy treatment for oncology patients.

The technology to test for the protein has been patented by the Technion research group, which operated out of the lab run by Prof. Yuval Shaked. It is currently being further developed by OncoHost, a biotechnology company in Binyamina, where Shaked is the co-founder and chief scientific advisor.

Multiple international research groups took part in the study, including from universities in Israel, the US and Germany.

The study was published this month in Cancer Cell, a journal to promote advances in cancer research and oncology.