It has been a busy and productive time for myself and CSRG in the Dun Lab of late.
We have discovered that the anti-cancer drug ‘ONC201’, currently in clinical trials for patients with diffuse midline glioma (DMG), works partly by modulating the immune system. This is surprising as DMG tumours have traditionally been considered ‘immunologically cold’.
I have found that ONC201 treatment increases the number of tumour-specific cells present on the surface of tumour cells, meaning the body’s immune system can more easily identify the tumour as being ‘foreign’, and help to fight the cancer. Additionally, I have found a particular protein on the surface of DMG tumour cells that seems to be a promising candidate as a CAR-T therapy target, which we are continuing to investigate.
Excitingly, I published by first scientific paper in April 2022– a literature review titled ‘The intrinsic and microenvironmental features of diffuse midline glioma: Implications for the development of effective immunotherapeutic treatment strategies’ in the Oxford Journal, ‘Neuro-Oncology’. The paper summarises current knowledge of modulation of the immune system in DMG, as well as how to utilise it to beat the cancer.
I am proud to be able to report on these important outcomes, made possible thanks to RUN DIPG and their community.
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