Research ArticleCancer Immunotherapy

Blockade of TNFR2 signaling enhances the immunotherapeutic effect of CpG ODN in a mouse model of colon cancer

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Sci. Signal.  02 Jan 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 511, eaan0790
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan0790

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Taking aim at regulatory T cells

Cancer immunotherapy attempts to stimulate the patient’s own immune system against a tumor, but despite its potential, the clinical efficacy of immunotherapy has been extremely limited. In some cases, the patient’s own immune system can counteract those efforts, such as through T cell exhaustion or the action of naturally suppressive regulatory T (Treg) cells. Nie et al. show that co-inhibiting a receptor for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) reduced Treg cell activity and proliferation, stimulated antitumor immune memory, and slowed the growth of—or even shrank—colon and breast tumors in mice that were unresponsive to common single-agent immunotherapies. The findings suggest that the addition of anti-TNF therapeutics may help increase and broaden the efficacy of immunotherapy for cancer patients.