UofL Researchers Used Trained Immunity To Reduce Tumor Activity in Pancreatic Cancer

UofL researchers Anne Geller, an M.D./Ph.D.  student and a research team at UofL led by Dr. Jun Yan recently have shown that beta-glucan, a natural carbohydrate, can generate enhanced immune responses to cancer in the pancreas and may lead to improved efficacy of immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

Trained immunity is a new concept in the field of immunology and is the idea that innate immune cells possess a form of “memory,” which typically only has been considered to be a feature of adaptive immune cells such as T-cells. Using animal models, Yan and his team found that when they injected particulate beta-glucan into the peritoneal area, it accumulated in the pancreas and promoted anti-cancer immune cell migration to the area. These immune cells were found to have a trained immunity phenotype and effectively inhibited pancreatic cancer growth. 

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 60,000 adults are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. in 2022 and nearly 50,000 patients will die from the disease.

Their paper was published in Nature Communications on February 5. 

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UofL researchers used trained immunity to reduce tumor activity in pancreatic cancer

By Betty Coffman - February 24, 2022