Research ArticleCancer

STING agonist formulated cancer vaccines can cure established tumors resistant to PD-1 blockade

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Science Translational Medicine  15 Apr 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 283, pp. 283ra52
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa4306

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A therapy that STINGs tumors

Stimulator of interferon genes, or STING, is a receptor that is found on a variety of cell types and activates an immune response in response to cyclic dinucleotides. Fu et al. found that combining cyclic dinucleotides with a cellular cancer vaccine called STINGVAX was effective against multiple types of tumors in mouse models. The authors then modified the cyclic dinucleotides to strengthen their binding to human STING, increasing their antitumor activity. The authors also showed that treatment with STINGVAX caused cancer cells to up-regulate PD-L1, a protein that suppresses the immune response. Inhibiting the PD-L1 pathway in mice treated with STINGVAX was very effective at killing even poorly immunogenic tumors.