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Israeli researchers achieve important step in cancer treatment: "A new bispecific antibody to potentiate anti-tumor immunity"

Immune T cells are the ones that normally recognize and destroy tumor cells, but during tumor progression, T cells begin to express the PD-1 receptor, which leads to the rapid exhaustion of the capacity of these cells. More recently, it has been found that information from dendritic cells, which collect data about malignant cells and present it to T cells, is vital for keeping T cells in an activated state. This finding explains why already existing therapeutic options based on anti-PD-1 antibodies have not been effective in cases where dendritic cells are missing around tumors.
Recently, a research group from the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel published in the prestigious journal "Cell" data about a new type of immunotherapy based on the interaction between T cells and dendritic cells, more precisely a new antibody was developed , called BiCE (Bispecific DC-T Cell Engager), which has the ability to connect T cells with dendritic cells, thus generating a strong immune response against cancer. This antibody binds and blocks on the one hand the PD-1 receptor that depletes the T cell, and on the other hand it binds the dendritic cell that brings the vital information to the T cell. The studies presented show that BiCE has shown efficacy in treating various types of cancer in mice, including breast, lung and skin cancer. What's more, this new antibody prevented the cancer from coming back, leaving behind memory immune cells capable of identifying and fighting the cancer.
The findings of the Israeli research team open new perspectives in immunotherapy, addressing a critical limitation of existing treatments related to the low presence of dendritic cells in most cancer tumors. This promising approach could revolutionize treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The image taken from the article published by the research team shows how the BiCE antibody marked in yellow achieves the coupling between the T cell visualized in red and the dendritic cell in blue, thus achieving an association of these immune cells with increased and long-lasting effectiveness against tumor cells .

Bispecific dendritic-T cell engager potentiates anti-tumor immunity. Yuval Shapir Itai Oren BarboyRan Salomon Akhiad BerkovichKen XieEitan WinterTamar ShamiZiv Porat Neta ErezAmos TanayIdo AmitRony Dahan. Cella, 2024, 18;187(2):375-389.e18. two: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.12.011.