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Role of Activin A in Immune Response to Breast Cancer

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Technical Report,15 Nov 2014,14 Nov 2015

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New York University New York United States

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In recent years, progress has been made in the development of immune-based therapy for cancer. Conceptually, these treatment strategies have the potential of harnessing the immune system to combat and eliminate cancer cells. One major obstacle to the success of immunotherapy in both human and animal studies is the development of immunologic tolerance in tumor-bearing hosts. Therefore, the immune system fails to recognize cancer cells as dangerous and actively suppresses antitumorimmune responses. Identification of the underlying mechanisms and the critical players that drive tolerance to the tumoris critical to improve the therapeutic efficacy of immunotherapy. Recent data indicate that activin A, a small protein secreted by some immune cells and by breast cancer cells has immune regulatory functions that may play a key role in promoting escape of tumors from immune control. The proposed studies will test the hypothesis that activin A secreted by breast cancer cells plays a key role in suppressing anti tumor immunity. The goals are to demonstrate the role of activin A produced by breast cancer cells in tumor growth and metastasis, and the potential therapeutic benefit of blocking activin A to increase theresponse to radiotherapy.

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