Study Shows Platelets Can Deliver Immunotherapy, Reduce Tumor Regrowth

Anne Li                                                                                                March 4th, 2017


A new study suggests that blood platelets engineered to deliver an immunotherapy drug may effectively eliminate cancer cells missed by surgery and prevent them from forming new tumors. In the study, the researchers chemically linked platelets—which normally help form blood clots and heal wounds—to an immune checkpoint inhibitor, a form of immunotherapy that releases the brakes on the anticancer immune response. Using mouse models of melanoma and breast cancer from which the majority of the tumor had been surgically removed, they found that mice treated with the engineered platelets had reduced tumor regrowth and metastasis and lived longer than mice treated with normal platelets or the checkpoint inhibitor alone. This targeted approach, tested only in mice so far, could potentially produce fewer side effects than traditional immunotherapy, the study team believes. “I like this approach,” said James Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch and head of the Immunotherapy Group in NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, who was not involved in the study. “It could add an extra insurance policy for patients whose tumors are potentially curable with surgery.”


See original article at: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2017/platelet-immunotherapy

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