Research ArticleCancer Immunology

Dual enhancement of T and NK cell function by pulsatile inhibition of SHIP1 improves antitumor immunity and survival

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Sci. Signal.  10 Oct 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 500, eaam5353
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aam5353

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Finding the right balance in immunotherapy

To stimulate the immune system’s activity against tumors, therapies often inhibit the regulatory pathways that suppress or counteract stimulatory signaling in immune cells. The phosphatase SHIP1 is one such target; however, chronic inhibition or genetic ablation of SHIP1 in mouse models of cancer fails to induce effective antitumor immunity, perhaps because chronic activation causes immune cell exhaustion. Gumbleton et al. found that, instead, a pulsatile regimen of SHIP1 inhibition not only enhanced the antitumor activity of critical populations of immune cells and extended the survival of mice with lymphoma and colon cancer but also induced immunological memory against the tumor cells. This treatment strategy may thus be effective at killing various types of tumors and preventing relapse in cancer patients.