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How Does Leukemia Escape from Immunotherapy?

By February 10, 2022No Comments

When an experimental new cancer treatment shows promising results for many patients, these successes are exciting. But cancer researchers say that the most important insights — those that will lead to better therapies for even more patients — come from studying the failures.

A new study by a team from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and colleagues does just that, highlighting one way that an aggressive leukemia can wriggle its way free of targeted attack by a high-tech strategy for immune-based therapy. With these insights in hand, the researchers have designed what they hope will be an improved version of the experimental therapy that will help more people in the future. “It’s important for our clinical trial participants, for our patients and our families to know that, even if the trial doesn’t go the way that we want it to for that particular patient, we don’t stop working,” said Dr. Kelly Paulson, who worked on this project while she was a senior fellow at Fred Hutch and is now the interim lead of the Center for Immuno-oncology, Paul G. Allen Research Center at Swedish Cancer Institute. “That we don’t stop asking what we can do better next time. That we don’t stop working hard to understand how we can fight cancer better, and how we can make the next treatment better and stronger.”