NK Cell-Directed Immunotherapies Preventing Breast Cancer Metastasis

Release Date: 31-Jul-2020

Different types of immune cells present in the body of the patients are helpful in preventing the breast cancer cells from attaining metastasis. But in majority of the cases the breast cancer cells evade the NK cells, which play an important role in preventing the breast cancer cells from attaining metastasis. This has caused lots of chaos in the breast cancer therapeutics world and has however led the resaerchers focus towards the different mechanism through which breast cancer evade the survelliance system provided by NK cells.


The continous research conducted regarding the same at John Hopkins University has led to the discovery of the pathway that leads to the prevention of the NK survellience for preventing the metastatsis of the breast cancer as once metastasis occur, it gets challenging for the doctors to kill the cancer cells. Through the research conducted, they showed that the combination of small molecule inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases with the antibodies that target KLRG1 and TIGIT proteins are capable to prevent the process of metastatsis of the breast cancer cells.


The process of eruption of NK survillence by the breast cancer cells was tested by the researchers in mice. When they exposed tumor cells with NK cells they found that the presence of Nk cells promoted thr growth of the tumor cells by twofold. This happened because when NK cells came in contact with the tumor cells, the NK cells underwent some drastic changes in ite gene expression. The same was identified using RNA sequencing analysis tool.


The team of the researchers found that there were many proteins that were promoting such behavior of the cancer cells and among all the two major key proteins that had the most impact on the cancer cell development were TIGIT and KLRG1. According to the report submitted by John Hopkins researchers’ team, the antibodies targeting either of the proteins prevented the NK cells from enahancing the breast cancer cell growth. Other than this they also reported that the DNA methyltransferase were also expressed in large amount by the tumor cells. Therefore, this also led to the approval of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors for reducing the metastasis.


The outcomes that were delivered by the research conducted at John Hopkins University resulted in a novel clinical strategy to prevent the breast cancer metastasis. It was observed that the pre-clinical data provided by the research proved the concept that of NK cell direct immunotherapies for the cancer cells is a promising therapy. It is believed that use of such therapies by the patient population will help in reducing the level of stress that breast cancer mortality rate has been delivering from past few years.

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