Cancer therapies incorporating the immune system have been applied successfully for many years in the form of allogeneic stem-cell transplants to patients with leukemia in certain disease situations. In recent years, further immunotherapeutic approaches have been developed for leukemia as well as other cancers. “However, our results indicate that – as with chemotherapy – cancer stem cells are also better at surviving immune attacks,” says study leader Professor Claudia Lengerke. The effectiveness of immunotherapies could therefore be improved if they were used in combination with treatments that sensitize cancer stem cells to immunological attack.
The study was conducted by the teams led by Professor Claudia Lengerke (Department of Biomedicine and Department of Hematology at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel), Professor Helmut Salih (German Cancer Consortium Heidelberg, partner site Tübingen) and Professor Andreas Trumpp (University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg), in collaboration with other scientists.
Anna M. Paczulla, Kathrin Rothfelder, Simon Raffel, Martina Konantz, Julia Steinbacher, Hui Wang, Claudia Tandler, Marcelle Mbarga, Thorsten Schaefer, Mattia Falcone, Eva Nievergall, Daniela Dörfel, Pauline Hanns, Jakob R. Passweg, Christoph Lutz, Juerg Schwaller, Robert Zeiser, Bruce R. Blazar, Michael A. Caligiuri, Stephan Dirnhofer, Pontus Lundberg, Lothar Kanz, Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Alexander Steinle, Andreas Trumpp, Helmut R. Salih, & Claudia Lengerke
Absence of NKG2D ligands defines leukaemia stem cells and mediates their immune evasion
Nature (2019), doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1410-1
Prof. Dr. Claudia Lengerke, University of Basel/University Hospital Basel, Department of Biomedicine, phone +41 61 265 23 81,email: firstname.lastname@example.org