Genetic ‘Immune Landscape’ Determines Progression of Prostate Cancer, Mice Study Suggests

Genetic ‘Immune Landscape’ Determines Progression of Prostate Cancer, Mice Study Suggests
Genetic variations that drive prostate cancer dictate the composition of immune cells within tumors and response to treatment, a new study shows. Researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) suggest that profiling a patient's tumor could help tailoring immunotherapies and identify patients who are most responsive to certain treatments. The research, “Diverse genetic-driven immune landscapes dictate tumor progression through distinct mechanisms,” was published in the journal Nature Medicine. Diverse genetic mutations can cause prostate cancer, the most common cancer in American men other than skin cancer. One example is the tumor suppressor gene Pten, whose complete loss is linked to metastasis and disease progression in prostate cancer. In addition to gene mutations, the tumor microenvironment (the non-cancerous cells present in the tumor, including immune cells and cells comprising blood vessels), is also an important factor in disease progression and response to treatment. The investigators created mouse models of four known genetic alterations of human prostate cancer, including deletion of Pten alone, or in combination with tumor suppressor genes Trp53Zbtb7a, or Pml. Results showed striking differences in the types and numbers of immune cells present in the tumor’s microenvironment, also called the tumor's "immune landscape". These differences increased over time. "We observed that specific genetic events resulted in striking difference
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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.

One comment

  1. As my father was diagnosed with PC (75 yo, gleason 8, psa 11, stage T2b)I wanted to help him as he doesn’t have any access to the Internet. After 2 months of searching I can now say that I’m quite good informed about the disease, the treatments etc. But I still have some critical questions: what is the turning point, after which this “mild” form of cancer turns into an agressive one and kills the patient?

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