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Mayo Clinic Finds Method That May Improve Colorectal Cancer Outcomes

August 27, 2019

Mayo Clinic Finds Method That May Improve Colorectal Cancer Outcomes

According to new Mayo Clinic research, colorectal cancer outcomes may improve by genetically altering an immune-regulatory protein in cancer cells, making the cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

The findings, published in August in Oncogene, indicate that increasing the expression of the PD-L1 protein in colorectal cancer cells can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. PD-L1 is an immune checkpoint protein that interacts with another protein, PD-1, to negatively affect cell functions and enable tumor cells to evade the body’s immune system. Research has shown that interrupting the PD-L1/PD-1 interaction can enhance attacks on anti-tumor immunity. However, the Mayo Clinic study describes another function of PD-L1: its effect on proteins that regulate tumor cell death. Deleting the PD-L1 gene suppressed two proteins that are associated with increased chemotherapy-induced cell death. In contrast, restoring PDL1 expression reversed the suppression of these proteins. The study found that increased tumor cell PD-L1 expression was
associated with better survival among patients expected to have received chemotherapy, which is the standard of care for patients with stage 3 and stage 4 cancers. 
   —Please see https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/genetically-manipulating-protein-level-in-colon-cancer-cells-can-improve-effectiveness-of-chemotherapy-mayo-clinic-study-finds/ for more.