Intra-tumoural regulatory T cells: a potential new target for anti-cancer immunotherapy

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] Previous studies in the field of tumour immunology had identified regulatory T (Treg) cells as important suppressors of the anti-tumour immune response as the presence of Treg cells in the peripheral blood of cancer patients was correlated with worse disease outcomes. Other studies had identified Treg cells to be active at sites of immune regulation such as the gut of colitis patients. It was therefore hypothesised that Treg cells would be present and active within tumours to suppress the cellular antitumour immune response. ... This treatment targeting multiple pathways of Treg cell mediated immuno-suppression and resulted in tumour regression in 50% of treated animals. Finally, the anti-tumour immune response is complex and a potentially synergistic multi-modality treatment designed to inactivate intra-tumoural Treg cells but to also induce apoptosis in tumour cells themselves was investigated. Alpha-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS), an analogue of vitamin E, had previously been shown to induce apoptosis in human MM xenografts implanted into immuno-deficient (nude) mice. Administration of α-TOS was therefore examined as a potentially synergistic treatment to be coupled with Treg cell inactivation. At the previously published doses used to treat immuno-deficient mice, α-TOS was found to be toxic to the immuno-competent mice used in this study. A marked depleting effect on total T cells was seen in the treated animals. The results of this thesis demonstrated the high potential for an adjunct immunotherapy of MM. They did however also highlight the importance of future studies into anticancer therapies to be conducted using clinically relevant tumour models and clinically relevant treatment regimes. The need to consider synergistic multi-modal therapies was also emphasised.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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