The recent emergence of immunotherapy has marked a sea change in research and care for many forms of cancer, bringing new hope to patients and families around the world. For those who respond to treatment, the results can be dramatic. Activation of a patient’s immune system against cancer can kill or shrink tumors and, in some cases, lead to complete remission. Despite significant advances, only a minority of individuals benefit from immunotherapy, and the reasons why remain unclear. Immunotherapy research has largely centered on T-cells, a type of immune cell that learns to recognize specific proteins and launch an attack. Tumors, however, are a complex mixture of many different cell types, including other immune cells known collectively as tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells. These cells represent alternative targets for immunotherapy, but their role in tumors is still poorly understood. To shed light on this under-examined family of immune cells, Harvard Medical School researchers based at the Blavatnik Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital used single-cell sequencing to map the landscape of myeloid cells in tumors from patients with lung cancer.
Source: Science Daily