Research highlight

Potential therapy for lung cancer

Nature Communications

December 21, 2011

Blocking a cytokine that is produced by inflammatory cells found in lung cancer improves the survival of mice with the disease. This finding, published in Nature Communications, suggests that this method could potentially be a useful approach for the treatment of lung cancer. Susanna Finotto and colleagues showed that, similar to T cell lymphomas and ovarian carcinomas, human non-small cell lung cancer samples had increased levels of a cytokine called IL-17A. IL-17A is produced by T cells that infiltrate the tumour and are thought to increase vascularisation. In a mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma the authors showed that using an antibody that blocks IL-17A suppressed lung tumour growth. Blocking IL-17A altered the balance of T cells in the tumour and the expression of other cytokines. The findings suggest that inhibiting the function of IL-17A may be a useful approach for the treatment of lung cancer.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms1609

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