CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY

Blocking PI3Kγ makes cold tumors hot

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Science  09 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6317, pp. 1246
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6317.1246-c

Immunotherapy has changed the face of cancer treatment. However, despite some success, most individuals do not respond to this type of treatment. One potential reason is the presence of immunosuppressive macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. Kaneda et al. and De Henau et al. now show in mice that inhibiting the lipid kinase phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ), or deleting the gene that encodes it, turns immunosuppressive macrophages into immunostimulatory ones in a cell-intrinsic manner. Inhibiting PI3Kγ in tumor-bearing mice led to greater T cell activation within tumors and, when combined with clinically available immunotherapies, to reduced tumor growth and improved overall survival. Clinical trials testing whether this strategy will also work in people are ongoing.

Nature 539, 437, 443 (2016).

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