(June 18, 2015) A team of researchers, including OCRF grantees Juan Cubillos-Ruiz, PhD, and Alfredo Perales-Puchalt, MD, have discovered how ovarian cancer shuts down immune system cells that would otherwise act as a first line of defense against the deadly tumor. The findings are published in the June 11 issue of Cell. A therapy that restores the cells’ disease-fighting abilities could provide a powerful new strategy to attack the cancer.
Investigators identify a gene in dendritic cells that ovarian cancer turns on, resulting in the cells’ inability to mount an effective response against the tumor. In preclinical studies, they demonstrate that turning off the gene, XBP1, restores dendritic cell function and triggers robust immune responses against ovarian tumors.
OCRF’s grant to Dr. Cubillos-Ruiz was made possible in part through a generous donation from Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer, the Louisa McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation.