New cancer treatment identified for mantle cell lymphoma

19 July 2012

A new form of therapy for the deadly condition mantle cell lymphoma has been identified, which experts hope will lead to more effective cancer treatment.

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have demonstrated that the inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in mouse models of the disease and can harness the immune system to eradicate residual malignant cells responsible for disease relapse.

Mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive and incurable subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which eventually becomes resistant to treatment, but in their study, which appears in the latest issue of Cancer Research, the experts say that initial tests have been promising.

Lead author Dr Eduardo M Sotomayor said the unique property of STAT3 inhibition to influence the inflammatory status of both malignant B-cells, as well as the antigen-presenting, points to pharmacologic inhibition of the signaling pathway as an "appealing strategy" to overcome tolerance to tumour antigens to elicit a strong anti-tumour immunity.

It would be desirable to find approaches with the dual ability of enhancing the antigen-presenting function of malignant B-cells and inducing inflammatory antigen-presenting cells, and the inhibition of STAT3 signalling can do both, he added.

"Therefore, STAT3 inhibition is an effective strategy in mouse models of MCL and provides a framework for future use of STAT3 inhibitors in combination with drugs that are capable of repairing defective immune responses in lymphoma patients," the expert said.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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