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New Therapy Makes Oxidative Stress Lethal for Cancer

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Published on : Jun 21, 2018

While medicinally it is accepted that oxidative stress helps tumors to thrive, but new cancer treatments are found to work in a way that is diametrically opposite making them die. Adoptive T cell therapy is related to reprogramming the metabolism of tumor cells. This leads to increase in level of reactive oxygen species of tumor cells and their destruction.

To establish the finding, mice with large, localized colorectal tumors were treated with adoptive T cell therapy. Prior to this, the mice was preconditioned with a chemotherapy drug which is known to help in the expansion and persistence of infused T cells. While T cells are patient’s own cells, they are engineered to fight cancer better. The therapy resulted in a double-whammy for the cancer cells.

Adoptive T Cell Therapy Related to Reprogram Metabolism of Tumor Cells

Following the therapy, scientists discovered that the treatment interfered with production of glutathione, as the production and accumulation of relative oxygen species inside the tumor cells was escalated. Glutathione is an antioxidant naturally found in all cells. The results comprised increased production of proinflammatory cytokines by T cells. Proinflammatory cytokines include tumor necrosis factor alpha, which regulates several functions cancer needs to control such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and death.

The study initiated by probing questions how immunotherapy could change the metabolism of tumor cells. As per findings of the study, tumor necrosis factor alpha can act on tumor cells directly and induce relative oxygen species inside them. The bottom line of the therapy includes complete tumor regression in almost all the tested mice.

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