‘Starving’ Immune Cell Discovery Points to Cancer Immunotherapy-Boosting Strategies

The microenvironment that supports a cancerous tumor also starves the immune cells that the body sends in to destroy the cancer, UPCI scientists revealed in a discovery that holds the potential to significantly boost the performance of breakthrough immunotherapy drugs. The UPCI team, led by Greg Delgoffe, PhD, showed that when immune T cells enter the tumor microenvironment, their mitochondria begin to shrink and disappear, indicating that the T cell is out of fuel and can’t properly function to destroy cancer cells. The finding, recently reported in the journal Immunity, opens the door to several potential clinical approaches that could help keep T cells functioning and boost the body’s ability to fight cancer.

Watch Dr. Delgoffe discuss his findings in the video, and read the press release here.