Lu Q. Le, MD, PhD, Study About Novel Method to Treat Tumors Featured on Cover of the Journal of Clinical Investigation

May 21, 2024 by

The Journal of Clinical Investigation cover.Lu Q. Le, MD, PhD, the Kenneth E. Greer, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology, and his lab published a study titled “STING activation reprograms the microenvironment to sensitize NF1-related malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors for immunotherapy” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study was featured on the cover of JCI’s May 15, 2024 issue. 

Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) can develop aggressive, deadly cancer called Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST). There is currently no effective drug treatment for MPNST. In the study, Dr. Le’s lab tested a strategy whereby the cancers were injected with a drug to activate the STING pathway that stimulates influx of anti-tumor immune cells (T cells) into the cancer. They then combined this drug with another drug that acts to release the “brakes” on the immune system, thus allowing it to fight the tumor. This combination treatment caused significant cell death and shrinkage of these tumors in the MPNST models. This study supports the testing of this novel treatment strategy in human clinical trial for NF1 patients with MPNST, an aggressive and deadly tumor for which no molecularly targeted therapy currently exists.

Learn more about the Le Lab’s research.

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Filed Under: Honors & Awards, Research