FORWARD LOOK | BEYOND THE NEWS
Study Identifies Why Some Cancers May Not
Respond to Immunotherapy
Laboratory researchers found that tumors that have
mutations in the genes JAK1 and JAK2 do not respond
to the immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
Using tumor biopsies from melanoma and colon cancer
patients, the researchers found that the JAK1 and JAK2
mutations kept the cancer cells from producing the
protein that Keytruda blocks, preventing an immune
response. This finding will help researchers identify
which patients should not be treated with Keytruda or
other anti-PD- 1 immunotherapies.
LEARN MORE IN THE FEBRUAR Y 2017
Smoking, drinking alcohol and being obese can all cause chronic inflammation. Other causes of inflammation include long-lasting bacterial
or viral infections, autoimmune diseases and exposure to asbestos.
Although it was first suggested that cancer was linked to inflammation in
1863, it took more than a hundred years for researchers to start exploring
Cancer Today spoke with Michael Karin, a molecular biologist at the
University of California, San Diego, about why inflammation increases the
risk of cancer and how reducing inflammation can help prevent cancer.
Q&A WITH MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST MICHAEL
KARIN ON INFLAMMATION AND CANCER
Inflammation occurs when the immune system responds to infection or injury. It typically lasts only hours or days. But when inflammation is chronic,
lasting for weeks, months or years, it can increase the risk
of cancer. Studies have found that chronic inflammation
increases one’s risk for many types of cancer, including lung,
liver and stomach cancers.