bims-flamet Biomed News
on Cytokines and immunometabolism in metastasis
Issue of 2024‒03‒31
24 papers selected by
Peio Azcoaga, Biodonostia HRI

  1. Front Pharmacol. 2024 ;15 1355242
      Glioblastoma (GB) is an intrusive and recurrent primary brain tumor with low survivability. The heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment plays a crucial role in the stemness and proliferation of GB. The tumor microenvironment induces tumor heterogeneity of cancer cells by facilitating clonal evolution and promoting multidrug resistance, leading to cancer cell progression and metastasis. It also plays an important role in angiogenesis to nourish the hypoxic tumor environment. There is a strong interaction of neoplastic cells with their surrounding microenvironment that comprise several immune and non-immune cellular components. The tumor microenvironment is a complex network of immune components like microglia, macrophages, T cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and non-immune components such as extracellular matrix, endothelial cells, astrocytes and neurons. The prognosis of GB is thus challenging, making it a difficult target for therapeutic interventions. The current therapeutic approaches target these regulators of tumor micro-environment through both generalized and personalized approaches. The review provides a summary of important milestones in GB research, factors regulating tumor microenvironment and promoting angiogenesis and potential therapeutic agents widely used for the treatment of GB patients.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; blood-brain barrier; glioblastoma; immunotherapy; therapeutic approaches; tumor microenvironment
  2. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 08. pii: 3142. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
      The Warburg effect, characterized by the preferential conversion of glucose to lactate even in the presence of oxygen and functional mitochondria, is a prominent metabolic hallmark of cancer cells and has emerged as a promising therapeutic target for cancer therapy. Elevated lactate levels and acidic pH within the tumor microenvironment (TME) resulting from glycolytic profoundly impact various cellular populations, including macrophage reprogramming and impairment of T-cell functionality. Altogether, the Warburg effect has been shown to promote tumor progression and immunosuppression through multiple mechanisms. This review provides an overview of the current understanding of the Warburg effect in cancer and its implications. We summarize recent pharmacological strategies aimed at targeting glycolytic enzymes, highlighting the challenges encountered in achieving therapeutic efficacy. Additionally, we examine the utility of the Warburg effect as an early diagnostic tool. Finally, we discuss the multifaceted roles of lactate within the TME, emphasizing its potential as a therapeutic target to disrupt metabolic interactions between tumor and immune cells, thereby enhancing anti-tumor immunity.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; aerobic glycolysis; immunomodulation; tumor metabolism; tumor microenvironment
  3. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1302587
      The breast cancer tumor microenvironment (TME) is dynamic, with various immune and non-immune cells interacting to regulate tumor progression and anti-tumor immunity. It is now evident that the cells within the TME significantly contribute to breast cancer progression and resistance to various conventional and newly developed anti-tumor therapies. Both immune and non-immune cells in the TME play critical roles in tumor onset, uncontrolled proliferation, metastasis, immune evasion, and resistance to anti-tumor therapies. Consequently, molecular and cellular components of breast TME have emerged as promising therapeutic targets for developing novel treatments. The breast TME primarily comprises cancer cells, stromal cells, vasculature, and infiltrating immune cells. Currently, numerous clinical trials targeting specific TME components of breast cancer are underway. However, the complexity of the TME and its impact on the evasion of anti-tumor immunity necessitate further research to develop novel and improved breast cancer therapies. The multifaceted nature of breast TME cells arises from their phenotypic and functional plasticity, which endows them with both pro and anti-tumor roles during tumor progression. In this review, we discuss current understanding and recent advances in the pro and anti-tumoral functions of TME cells and their implications for developing safe and effective therapies to control breast cancer progress.
    Keywords:  breast cancer; immune cells; metastasis; stroma; tumor microenvironment
  4. Medicine (Baltimore). 2024 Mar 29. 103(13): e37654
      Breast cancer remains a pressing global health concern, with a myriad of intricate factors contributing to its development, progression, and heterogeneity. Among these multifaceted elements, the role of immune cells within the tumor microenvironment is gaining increasing attention. In this context, neutrophils, traditionally regarded as the first responders to infections, are emerging as noteworthy participants in the complex landscape of breast cancer. This paper seeks to unravel the intricate and multifaceted role of neutrophils in breast cancer. Neutrophils, classically known for their phagocytic and pro-inflammatory functions, are now recognized for their involvement in promoting or restraining tumor growth. While their presence within the tumor microenvironment may exert antitumor effects through immune surveillance and cytotoxic activities, these innate immune cells can also facilitate tumor progression by fostering an immunosuppressive milieu, promoting angiogenesis, and aiding metastatic dissemination. The intricacies of neutrophil-tumor cell interactions, signaling pathways, and mechanisms governing their recruitment to the tumor site are explored in detail. Challenges and gaps in current knowledge are acknowledged, and future directions for research are outlined. This review underscores the dynamic and context-dependent role of neutrophils in breast cancer and emphasizes the significance of unraveling their multifaceted contributions. As we delve into the complexities of the immune landscape in breast cancer, a deeper understanding of the warriors within, the neutrophils, presents exciting prospects for the development of novel therapeutic strategies and a more comprehensive approach to breast cancer management.
  5. Hum Immunol. 2024 Mar 22. pii: S0198-8859(24)00030-2. [Epub ahead of print] 110774
      One of the ways in which macrophages support tumorigenic growth is by producing adenosine, which acts to dampen antitumor immune responses and is generated by both tumor and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Two cell surface expressed molecules, CD73 and CD39, boost catalytic adenosine triphosphate, leading to further increased adenosine synthesis, under hypoxic circumstances in the TME. There are four receptors (A1, A2A, A2B, and A3) expressed on macrophages that allow adenosine to perform its immunomodulatory effect. Researchers have shown that adenosine signaling is a key factor in tumor progression and an attractive therapeutic target for treating cancer. Several antagonistic adenosine-targeting biological therapies that decrease the suppressive action of tumor-associated macrophages have been produced and explored to transform this result from basic research into a therapeutic advantage. Here, we'll review the newest findings from studies of pharmacological compounds that target adenosine receptors, and their potential therapeutic value based on blocking the suppressive action of macrophages in tumors.
    Keywords:  Adenosine; Adenosine Receptors; Pharmacological Agents; Tumor Associated Macrophages
  6. Cancers (Basel). 2024 Mar 10. pii: 1113. [Epub ahead of print]16(6):
      The intricate interplay between inflammatory processes and the tumor microenvironment (TME) in lung cancer has garnered increasing attention due to its implications for both oncogenesis and therapeutic strategies. In this review, we explore recent advances in understanding the paracrine regulation and immune system pathways within the inflammatory TME of lung cancer. We delve into the molecular mechanisms underpinning oncogenesis, highlighting the role of immune cell populations, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and endothelial cells, as well as their interactions through immune system pathways regulated in a paracrine pattern. Additionally, we discuss emerging immunotherapeutic strategies with a specific focus on the potential of leveraging the inflammatory TME through these pathways to enhance treatment efficacy in lung cancer.
    Keywords:  TME; immunotherapy; lung cancer; paracrine regulation
  7. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 12. pii: 3225. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
      Despite advances in their diagnosis and treatment, pediatric cancers remain among the leading causes of death in childhood. The development of immunotherapies and other forms of targeted therapies has significantly changed the prognosis of some previously incurable cancers in the adult population. However, so far, the results in pediatric cohorts are disappointing, which is mainly due to differences in tumor biology, including extreme heterogeneity and a generally low tumor mutational burden. A central role in the limited efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches is played by the peculiar characteristics of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in pediatric cancer, with the scarcity of tumor infiltration by T cells and the abundance of stromal cells endowed with lymphocyte suppressor and tumor-growth-promoting activity. Thus, progress in the treatment of pediatric solid tumors will likely be influenced by the ability to modify the TME while delivering novel, more effective therapeutic agents. In this review, we will describe the TME composition in pediatric solid tumors and illustrate recent advances in treatment for the modulation of immune cells belonging to the TME.
    Keywords:  CAR-T cells; immunotherapy; pediatric solid tumor; tumor microenvironment
  8. Medicine (Baltimore). 2024 Mar 29. 103(13): e37555
      Endometrioid endometrial cancer (EEC) is one of the most common gynecologic malignancies. The interaction between cancer cells and the cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a crucial role in determining disease progression and response to treatment. To better understand the diversity in the TME of ECC, we conducted a comprehensive analysis using single-cell RNA sequencing across 21 samples, including 16 ECC and 5 adjacent normal tissues. We primarily focused on tumor-infiltrating natural killer (NK) cells and their cell-cell interactions with other immune cell types. We identified a CD56dim_DNAJB1 NK cells subset, which had low cytotoxic capability and high stress levels, suggesting a dysfunctional state. This subset showed strong interactions with tumor-associated macrophages through several ligand-receptor pairs. Additionally, we observed that tumor-infiltrating LAMP3+ dendritic cells may inhibit CD8+ T cells or attract regulatory T cells to the tumor area. These dendritic cells also had impaired activation effects on NK cells within the TME. Our study provides valuable insights into the role of NK cells in cancer immunity and highlights the potential of targeting specific NK cell subsets for therapeutic purposes.
  9. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2024 Mar 29.
      Tumors can be classified into distinct immunophenotypes based on the presence and arrangement of cytotoxic immune cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME). Hot tumors, characterized by heightened immune activity and responsiveness to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), stand in stark contrast to cold tumors, which lack immune infiltration and remain resistant to therapy. To overcome immune evasion mechanisms employed by tumor cells, novel immunologic modulators have emerged, particularly ICIs targeting cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1(PD-1/PD-L1). These agents disrupt inhibitory signals and reactivate the immune system, transforming cold tumors into hot ones and promoting effective antitumor responses. However, challenges persist, including primary resistance to immunotherapy, autoimmune side effects, and tumor response heterogeneity. Addressing these challenges requires innovative strategies, deeper mechanistic insights, and a combination of immune interventions to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapies. In the landscape of cancer medicine, where immune cold tumors represent a formidable hurdle, understanding the TME and harnessing its potential to reprogram the immune response is paramount. This review sheds light on current advancements and future directions in the quest for more effective and safer cancer treatment strategies, offering hope for patients with immune-resistant tumors.
    Keywords:  cold tumor; hot tumor; immunologic modulator; immunotherapy; therapeutic strategy; tumor microenvironment
  10. Zhonghua Wei Zhong Bing Ji Jiu Yi Xue. 2024 Mar;36(3): 332-336
      Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction due to dysregulation of the body's response to infection. The immunosuppressive phase of sepsis is also an important cause of high morbidity and mortality in patients with advanced sepsis. Myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC), as a heterogeneous population of Gr1+CD11b+ immature cells, play a pivotal role in the immune process of advanced sepsis together with programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) with immunosuppressive properties. This review summarized the research progress of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway-mediated mechanism of MDSC in septic immunosuppression in recent years. The mechanism of action of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in the immunosuppressive stage, the effects of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway on the "dual-signaling" model of MDSC through the signaling pathway and cytokines, as well as the time course of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway mediation in sepsis were described.
  11. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 07. pii: 3105. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
      Tumors intricately shape a highly immunosuppressive microenvironment, hampering effective antitumor immune responses through diverse mechanisms. Consequently, achieving optimal efficacy in cancer immunotherapy necessitates the reorganization of the tumor microenvironment and restoration of immune responses. Bladder cancer, ranking as the second most prevalent malignant tumor of the urinary tract, presents a formidable challenge. Immunotherapeutic interventions including intravesical BCG and immune checkpoint inhibitors such as atezolizumab, avelumab, and pembrolizumab have been implemented. However, a substantial unmet need persists as a majority of bladder cancer patients across all stages do not respond adequately to immunotherapy. Bladder cancer establishes a microenvironment that can actively hinder an efficient anti-tumor immune response. A deeper understanding of immune evasion mechanisms in bladder cancer will aid in suppressing recurrence and identifying viable therapeutic targets. This review seeks to elucidate mechanisms of immune evasion specific to bladder cancer and explore novel pathways and molecular targets that might circumvent resistance to immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  bladder cancer; immune checkpoint inhibitor; immune evasion; immunoregulatory cell; tumor microenvironment
  12. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1377722
      Liver cancer is the third leading of tumor death, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are yielding much for sufferers to hope for patients, but only some patients with advanced liver tumor respond. Recent research showed that tumor microenvironment (TME) is critical for the effectiveness of ICIs in advanced liver tumor. Meanwhile, metabolic reprogramming of liver tumor leads to immunosuppression in TME. These suggest that regulating the abnormal metabolism of liver tumor cells and firing up TME to turn "cold tumor" into "hot tumor" are potential strategies to improve the therapeutic effect of ICIs in liver tumor. Previous studies have found that YAP1 is a potential target to improve the efficacy of anti-PD-1 in HCC. Here, we review that YAP1 promotes immunosuppression of TME, mainly due to the overstimulation of cytokines in TME by YAP1. Subsequently, we studied the effects of YAP1 on metabolic reprogramming in liver tumor cells, including glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism, arachidonic acid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. Lastly, we summarized the existing drugs targeting YAP1 in the treatment of liver tumor, including some medicines from natural sources, which have the potential to improve the efficacy of ICIs in the treatment of liver tumor. This review contributed to the application of targeted YAP1 for combined therapy with ICIs in liver tumor patients.
    Keywords:  YAP1; immune checkpoint inhibitors; liver cancer; metabolic reprogramming; tumor microenvironment
  13. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2024 Mar 23.
      BACKGROUND: Cancer immunotherapy is receiving worldwide attention for its induction of an anti-tumor response. However, it has had limited efficacy in some patients who acquired resistance. The dynamic and sophisticated complexity of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is the leading contributor to this clinical dilemma. Through recapitulating the physiological features of the TME, 3D bioprinting is a promising research tool for cancer immunotherapy, which preserves in vivo malignant aggressiveness, heterogeneity, and the cell-cell/matrix interactions. It has been reported that application of 3D bioprinting holds potential to address the challenges of immunotherapy resistance and facilitate personalized medication.CONCLUSIONS AND PERSPECTIVES: In this review, we briefly summarize the contributions of cellular and noncellular components of the TME in the development of immunotherapy resistance, and introduce recent advances in 3D bioprinted tumor models that served as platforms to study the interactions between tumor cells and the TME. By constructing multicellular 3D bioprinted tumor models, cellular and noncellular crosstalk is reproduced between tumor cells, immune cells, fibroblasts, adipocytes, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) within the TME. In the future, by quickly preparing 3D bioprinted tumor models with patient-derived components, information on tumor immunotherapy resistance can be obtained timely for clinical reference. The combined application with tumoroid or other 3D culture technologies will also help to better simulate the complexity and dynamics of tumor microenvironment in vitro. We aim to provide new perspectives for overcoming cancer immunotherapy resistance and inspire multidisciplinary research to improve the clinical application of 3D bioprinting technology.
    Keywords:  Acquired resistance; Bioprinting; Cancer immunotherapy; In vitro tumor model; Personalized medication
  14. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2024 Mar 27. 1-17
      INTRODUCTION: Despite the success of immunotherapies for melanoma in recent years, there remains a significant proportion of patients who do not yet derive benefit from available treatments. Immunotherapies currently licensed for clinical use target the adaptive immune system, focussing on Tcell interactions and functions. However, the most prevalent immune cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME) of melanoma are macrophages, a diverse immune cell subset displaying high plasticity, to which no current therapies are yet directly targeted. Macrophages have been shown not only to activate the adaptive immune response, and enhance cancer cell killing, but, when influenced by factors within the TME of melanoma, these cells also promote melanoma tumorigenesis and metastasis.AREAS COVERED: We present a review of the most up-to-date literatureavailable on PubMed, focussing on studies from within the last 10 years. We also include data from ongoing and recent clinical trials targeting macrophages in melanoma listed on
    EXPERT OPINION: Understanding the multifaceted role of macrophages in melanoma, including their interactions with immune and cancer cells, the influence of current therapies on macrophage phenotype and functions and how macrophages could be targeted with novel treatment approaches, are all critical for improving outcomes for patients with melanoma.
    Keywords:  Melanoma; checkpoint inhibitors; immunoregulatory; immunotherapy; macrophages; polarization; tumor microenvironment
  15. Int Rev Immunol. 2024 Mar 25. 1-29
      The immune system has a substantial impact on the growth and expansion of lung malignancies. Immune cells are encompassed by a stroma comprising an extracellular matrix (ECM) and different cells like stromal cells, which are known as the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). TME is marked by the presence of immunosuppressive factors, which inhibit the function of immune cells and expand tumor growth. In recent years, numerous strategies and adjuvants have been developed to extend immune responses in the TIME, to improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. In this comprehensive review, we outline the present knowledge of immune evasion mechanisms in lung TIME, explain the biology of immune cells and diverse effectors on these components, and discuss various approaches for overcoming suppressive barriers. We highlight the potential of novel adjuvants, including toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, cytokines, phytochemicals, nanocarriers, and oncolytic viruses, for enhancing immune responses in the TME. Ultimately, we provide a summary of ongoing clinical trials investigating these strategies and adjuvants in lung cancer patients. This review also provides a broad overview of the current state-of-the-art in boosting immune responses in the TIME and highlights the potential of these approaches for improving outcomes in lung cancer patients.
    Keywords:  Anticancer immunity; CD8+ T lymphocytes; immune system; lung cancer; tumor immune microenvironment (TIME)
  16. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2024 Mar 25. 9(1): 68
      The innate immune pathway is receiving increasing attention in cancer therapy. This pathway is ubiquitous across various cell types, not only in innate immune cells but also in adaptive immune cells, tumor cells, and stromal cells. Agonists targeting the innate immune pathway have shown profound changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and improved tumor prognosis in preclinical studies. However, to date, the clinical success of drugs targeting the innate immune pathway remains limited. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that activation of the innate immune pathway can paradoxically promote tumor progression. The uncertainty surrounding the therapeutic effectiveness of targeted drugs for the innate immune pathway is a critical issue that needs immediate investigation. In this review, we observe that the role of the innate immune pathway demonstrates heterogeneity, linked to the tumor development stage, pathway status, and specific cell types. We propose that within the TME, the innate immune pathway exhibits multidimensional diversity. This diversity is fundamentally rooted in cellular heterogeneity and is manifested as a variety of signaling networks. The pro-tumor effect of innate immune pathway activation essentially reflects the suppression of classical pathways and the activation of potential pro-tumor alternative pathways. Refining our understanding of the tumor's innate immune pathway network and employing appropriate targeting strategies can enhance our ability to harness the anti-tumor potential of the innate immune pathway and ultimately bridge the gap from preclinical to clinical application.
  17. Cancers (Basel). 2024 Mar 21. pii: 1237. [Epub ahead of print]16(6):
      During the last decade, we have witnessed several milestones in the treatment of various resistant cancers including immunotherapeutic strategies that have proven to be superior to conventional treatment options, such as chemotherapy and radiation. This approach utilizes the host's immune response, which is triggered by cancer cells expressing tumor-associated antigens or neoantigens. The responsive immune cytotoxic CD8+ T cells specifically target and kill tumor cells, leading to tumor regression and prolongation of survival in some cancers; however, some cancers may exhibit resistance due to the inactivation of anti-tumor CD8+ T cells. One mechanism by which the anti-tumor CD8+ T cells become dysfunctional is through the activation of the inhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1) by the corresponding tumor cells (or other cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME)) that express the programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Hence, blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 interaction via specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) restores the CD8+ T cells' functions, leading to tumor regression. Accordingly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several checkpoint antibodies which act as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Their clinical use in various resistant cancers, such as metastatic melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), has shown significant clinical responses. We have investigated an alternative approach to prevent the expression of PD-L1 on tumor cells, through targeting the oncogenic transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1), a known factor overexpressed in many cancers. We report the regulation of PD-L1 by YY1 at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational levels, resulting in the restoration of CD8+ T cells' anti-tumor functions. We have performed bioinformatic analyses to further explore the relationship between both YY1 and PD-L1 in cancer and to corroborate these findings. In addition to its regulation of PD-L1, YY1 has several other anti-cancer activities, such as the regulation of proliferation and cell viability, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, and chemo-immuno-resistance. Thus, targeting YY1 will have a multitude of anti-tumor activities resulting in a significant obliteration of cancer oncogenic activities. Various strategies are proposed to selectively target YY1 in human cancers and present a promising novel therapeutic approach for treating unresponsive cancer phenotypes. These findings underscore the distinct regulatory roles of YY1 and PD-L1 (CD274) in cancer progression and therapeutic response.
    Keywords:  PD-L1; T cells; YY1; cancer; immunotherapy; inhibitors; overexpression; resistance
  18. Adv Healthc Mater. 2024 Mar 30. e2304263
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) promotes angiogenesis for its growth through the recruitment of multiple cells and signaling mechanisms. For example, the TME actively recruits and activates platelets from the microcirculation to facilitate metastasis, but platelets may simultaneously also support tumor angiogenesis. Here, to model this complex pathophysiology within the TME that involves a signaling triad of cancer cells, sprouting endothelial cells, and platelets, an angiogenesis-enabled tumor microenvironment chip (aTME-Chip) is presented. This platform recapitulates the convergence of physiology of angiogenesis and platelet function within the ovarian TME and describes the contribution of platelets in promoting angiogenesis within an ovarian TME. By including three distinct human ovarian cancer cell-types, the aTME-Chip quantitatively reveals following outcomes- firstly, introduction of platelets significantly increases angiogenesis; second, the temporal dynamics of angiogenic signaling are dependent on cancer cell type; and finally, tumor-educated platelets either activated exogenously by cancer cells or derived clinically from a cancer patient accelerate tumor angiogenesis. Further, analysis of effluents available from aTME-Chip validate functional outcomes by revealing changes in cytokine expression and several angiogenic and metastatic signaling pathways due to platelets. Collectively, this tumor microphysiological system may be deployed to derive antiangiogenic targets combined with antiplatelet treatments to arrest cancer metastasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  angiogenesis; cancer.platelets; ovarian; tumor microenvironment‐chip
  19. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2024 Mar 21. pii: S0006-291X(24)00350-4. [Epub ahead of print]708 149814
      The cGAS-STING pathway, a crucial component of innate immunity, has garnered attention as a potential therapeutic target for tumor treatment, but targeting this pathway is complicated by diverse feedback mechanisms of the cGAS-STING pathway. In this study, we demonstrated that STING activation enhanced the expression of CD73 and the subsequent production of adenosine in immune cells and cancer cells. Mechanistically, the feedback activation of CD73 depended on the type I IFN/IFNAR axis induced by STING activation. Furthermore, the combination of STING agonist and anti-CD73 mAb markedly blocked tumor growth in vivo by promoting the infiltration of CD8+ T cells and reducing the accumulation of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the tumor microenvironment. Our work provides a rationale for the combination of STING agonists and CD73 inhibitors in cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  Adenosine; CD73; Immunotherapy; Innate immunity; cGAS-STING
  20. Breast Dis. 2024 ;43(1): 37-49
      BACKGROUND: Breast cancer tumor microenvironment (TME) is a promising target for immunotherapy. Autophagy, and cancer stem cells (CSCs) maintenance are essential processes involved in tumorigenesis, tumor survival, invasion, and treatment resistance. Overexpression of angiogenic chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) in breast cancer TME is associated with oncogenic signaling pathways, increased tumor growth, metastasis, and poor prognosis.OBJECTIVE: Thus, we aimed to investigate the possible anti-tumor effect of neutralizing antibodies against IL-8 by evaluating its efficacy on autophagic activity and breast CSC maintenance.
    METHODS: IL-8 monoclonal antibody supplemented tumor tissue culture systems from 15 females undergoing mastectomy were used to evaluate the expression of LC3B as a specific biomarker of autophagy and CD44, CD24 as cell surface markers of breast CSCs using immunofluorescence technique.
    RESULTS: Our results revealed that anti-IL-8 mAb significantly decreased the level of LC3B in the cultured tumor tissues compared to its non-significant decrease in the normal breast tissues.Anti-IL-8 mAb also significantly decreased the CD44 expression in either breast tumors or normal cultured tissues. While it caused a non-significant decrease in CD24 expression in cultured breast tumor tissue and a significant decrease in its expression in the corresponding normal ones.
    CONCLUSIONS: Anti-IL-8 monoclonal antibody exhibits promising immunotherapeutic properties through targeting both autophagy and CSCs maintenance within breast cancer TME.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; anti-IL-8 mab; autophagy; cancer stem cells; tumor microenvironment
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Mar 18. pii: 3414. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
      The association between cancer and inflammation is well established. Chronic inflammation represents a fundamental step in the development and progression of some types of cancer. Tumors are composed of a heterogeneous population of infiltrating cells including macrophages, fibroblasts, lymphocytes, granulocytes, and mast cells, which respond to signals from the microenvironment and, in turn, produce cytokines, chemokines, transcription factors, receptors, and miRNAs. Recent data demonstrate that, in addition to classical (M1) and alternative (M2) macrophage subtypes, there are many intermediate subtypes that potentially play different roles in response to environmental stimuli. Tumors are infiltrated by macrophages called TAMs that mainly display an M2-like phenotype and tumor growth-permissive activities. There is a bidirectional interaction between tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating cells that determines macrophage polarization and ultimately tumor progression or regression. These complex interactions are still unclear but understanding them is fundamental for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Re-educating tumor-permissive macrophages into anti-tumor macrophages is a new focus of research. This review aims to analyze the most recent articles investigating the interplay between tumors, tumor-infiltrating cells, and TAMs, and the strategies for re-educating tumor-permissive macrophages.
    Keywords:  CAFs; TAMs; TME; cancer immunology; cytokines; macrophage; miRNAs; molecular target
  22. Bioact Mater. 2024 Jun;36 376-412
      The treatment of digestive system tumors presents challenges, particularly in immunotherapy, owing to the advanced immune tolerance of the digestive system. Nanomaterials have emerged as a promising approach for addressing these challenges. They provide targeted drug delivery, enhanced permeability, high bioavailability, and low toxicity. Additionally, nanomaterials target immunosuppressive cells and reshape the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). Among the various cells in the TIME, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the most abundant and play a crucial role in tumor progression. Therefore, investigating the modulation of TAMs by nanomaterials for the treatment of digestive system tumors is of great significance. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the utilization of nanomaterials to modulate TAMs for the treatment of gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and pancreatic cancer. We also investigated the underlying mechanisms by which nanomaterials modulate TAMs to treat tumors in the digestive system. Furthermore, this review summarizes the role of macrophage-derived nanomaterials in the treatment of digestive system tumors. Overall, this research offers valuable insights into the development of nanomaterials tailored for the treatment of digestive system tumors.
    Keywords:  Digestive system tumors; Nanomaterials; Therapy; Tumor immune microenvironment; Tumor-associated macrophages
  23. Mol Ther. 2024 Mar 27. pii: S1525-0016(24)00213-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Malignant tumors are often associated with an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), rendering most of them resistant to standard-of-care immune checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs). Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor, has well-defined immunosuppressive functions in several leukocyte populations within the TME. Since the STAT3 protein has been challenging to target using conventional pharmaceutical modalities, we investigated the feasibility of applying systemically delivered RNA interference (RNAi) agents to silence its mRNA directly in tumor-associated immune cells. In preclinical rodent tumor models, chemically stabilized acetylated small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) selectively silenced Stat3 mRNA in multiple relevant cell types, reduced STAT3 protein levels, and increased cytotoxic T-cell infiltration. In a murine model of CPI-resistant pancreatic cancer, RNAi-mediated Stat3 silencing resulted in tumor growth inhibition, which was further enhanced in combination with CPIs. To further exemplify the utility of RNAi for cancer immunotherapy, this technology was used to silence Cd274, the gene encoding the immune checkpoint protein programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). Interestingly, silencing of Cd274 was effective in tumor models that are resistant to PD-L1 antibody therapy. These data represent the first demonstration of systemic delivery of RNAi agents to the TME and suggest applying this technology for immuno-oncology applications.
    Keywords:  Combination therapy; Gene silencing; RNAi therapeutics; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor-associated immune cells
  24. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2024 ;12 1289538
      Non-coding RNAs play important roles in tumor cells and macrophages and participate in their communication as messengers. Non-coding RNAs have an impact in tumor cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis, and they also regulate the differentiation and regulation of immune cells. In macrophages, they stimulate the polarization of macrophages into M1 or M2 by regulating proteins related to signaling pathways; in tumor cells, non-coding RNAs can enter macrophages through exosomes and affect the latter polarization. The polarization of macrophages further regulates the biological functions of cancer cells. The direction of macrophage polarization determines tumor progression, angiogenesis and drug resistance. This often creates a feedback loop. Non-coding RNAs act as bridges between tumor cells and macrophages to regulate the balance of the tumor microenvironment. We reviewed the signaling pathways related to macrophage polarization and the regulatory mechanisms of non-coding RNA in tumor-associated macrophages M1 and M2, and discussed the potential applications and prospects of exosome engineering.
    Keywords:  TAMs; ncRNAs; polarization; signaling pathways; tumor progression