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Improving Immunotherapy Outcomes Through "Bystander Killing"


One major limitation of T-cell-based immunotherapies is a phenomenon known as “antigen escape,” which occurs when a subset of cancer cells lose the targeted antigen. Patients’ tumor regressions will stall and they will relapse quickly when even one cancerous cell is able to evade detection by CAR-T, anti-PD1, or bispecific antibody immunotherapies.

At The Tisch Cancer Institute, researchers led by Joshua Brody, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Oncological Sciences, are working to prevent antigen escape by boosting a process called “bystander killing,” where targeted tumor cells are destroyed along with bystander tumor cells, regardless of whether they express an antigen. Dr. Brody described Mount Sinai’s study of Fas-mediated, antigen-specific T-cell killing in the March 2021 issue of Cancer Discovery.

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