Research ArticleCancer

Functional Network Pipeline Reveals Genetic Determinants Associated with in Situ Lymphocyte Proliferation and Survival of Cancer Patients

Science Translational Medicine  19 Mar 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 228, pp. 228ra37
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007240

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There Goes the Neighborhood

Just as a new homeowner will remodel when moving into a house, a tumor also alters the local microenvironment. One of the least tumor-friendly things in the tumor microenvironment is the immune response. Mlecnik et al. now examine the network of changes to cytokines that contribute to shaping the intratumoral immune response in colorectal tumors.

The authors found changes in local expression of 13 cytokines. Deletion of one cytokine, interleukin 15, was associated with tumor recurrence and reduced patient survival, potentially by affecting the local proliferation of B and T cells. Their results show that chromosome instability contributes to the regulation of cytokines and downstream tumor immune response.