‘Don’t Eat Me’ Signal CD24 May Be Promising Therapeutic Target for Ovarian and Breast Cancers, Study Says

‘Don’t Eat Me’ Signal CD24 May Be Promising Therapeutic Target for Ovarian and Breast Cancers, Study Says
Researchers have discovered a "don't eat me" signal that is deployed by ovarian and breast cancer cells to evade a person's immune system. Similar to other anti-cancer therapies in use or under testing, blocking this signal raises hope for a new class of immunotherapies to combat these cancers. A team at Stanford University’s School of Medicine found that ovarian and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells express particularly high levels of CD24 at their surface, which helps protect them from macrophages, a type of white blood cell that can "eat" cancer cells and clear them away. Removal or blockade of CD24 restores the ability of macrophages to attack tumor cells, thereby slowing cancer growth in mice implanted with human tumors, the scientists found. Their study, "CD24 signalling through macrophage Siglec-10 is a target for cancer immunotherapy," was published in the journal Nature. Cancer cells can evade being recognized and killed by the immune system by displaying certain "don't eat me" signals that shield them from immune cell attacks. Normally, these signals keep the immune system from mistakenly attacking healthy cells, but cancer cells harness this process to hide from the immune system. Specifically, tumor cells can express proteins at their surface that stop macrophages (a type of white cell) from detecting, engulfing, and destroying cancer cells, in a biological process called
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