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Pre-clinical research

Possible role for immune checkpoint inhibitors in glioblastoma

Immune checkpoint inhibitors could play a role in patients with glioblastoma (pictured) and brain metastases, study finds

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Immune checkpoint inhibitors could play a role in patients with glioblastoma (pictured) and brain metastases, say researchers

Patients with glioblastoma and brain metastases have very few treatment options and usually die within a short period of time. By analysing neurosurgical specimens, researchers have discovered that brain metastases harbour high densities of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which provide an immunoactive environment.

Both primary and secondary brain tumours also had high levels of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PDL1). This is an immunosuppressive factor that can be inhibited by a new class of cancer drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, explains lead researcher Anna Sophie Berghoff, from the Medical University of Vienna, in Annals of Oncology (2014;25(6): vi1)[1].

Together, the findings demonstrate that the immune system interacts with glioblastoma and brain metastases, providing a rationale for evaluating the effect of immune checkpoint inhibitors, Berghoff says. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067325

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