Allergy medicine may treat lung cancer, suggests research

IL-4 signaling in bone marrow promotes tumor-friendly myelopoiesis.

Share

Follow us onFollow Tech Explorist on Google News

Researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York discovered a way to boost the body’s defense against lung cancer. They found that blocking a specific allergy pathway in mice with lung cancer increased their ability to fight tumors. 

In a small study with people, combining a drug called dupilumab, commonly used for allergies, with immunotherapy strengthened patients’ immune systems. One out of six patients saw a significant reduction in tumors. This promising research was published in the December 6 issue of the journal Nature.

Dr. Miriam Merad from Mount Sinai Medical School explains that while immunotherapy has transformed non-small cell lung cancer treatment, only about a third of patients respond, and the benefits are often temporary. The TARGET program, led by Dr. Merad, aims to use advanced technology to identify immune programs that can weaken the tumor’s response to immunotherapy. Checkpoint blockade, a form of immunotherapy, helps T cells kill cancer but has limitations.

Dr. Miriam Merad from Mount Sinai Medical School explains that while immunotherapy has transformed non-small cell lung cancer treatment, only about a third of patients respond, and the benefits are often temporary. The TARGET program, led by Dr. Merad, aims to use advanced technology to identify immune programs that can weaken the tumor’s response to immunotherapy. Checkpoint blockade, a form of immunotherapy, helps T cells kill cancer but has limitations.

The researchers are optimistic about early results but stress the need for more extensive trials to confirm the drug’s effectiveness in treating lung cancer. In addition to the initial Nature paper, they’ve expanded a clinical trial using dupilumab with checkpoint blockade for a larger group of lung cancer patients. Dr. Marron received a grant to study its effects on early-stage lung cancer. The team seeks biomarkers to predict which patients may benefit from dupilumab treatment.

Jill O’Donnell-TormeyO’Donnell-Tormey, CEO of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), supports the Mount Sinai team. CRI funds research from lab to clinic, using advanced tech and data. They’re excited about the potential for enhancing checkpoint blockade responses. They are proud to contribute to this journey from the lab to real-world impact.

This study signifies a potential breakthrough in lung cancer treatment by repurposing an allergy medication. Combining immunotherapy with dupilumab shows promise in enhancing the immune system‘s response to lung cancer, offering new hope for patients. 

As the research progresses, the collaboration with the Cancer Research Institute and ongoing clinical trials will contribute valuable insights, bringing us closer to transformative advancements in lung cancer therapy.

Journal reference:

  1. LaMarche, N.M., Hegde, S., Park, M.D. et al. An IL-4 signalling axis in bone marrow drives pro-tumorigenic myelopoiesis. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06797-9.

Newsletter

See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.

Journal
University

Trending