Researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) have developed a novel strategy for rendering weakly or non-immunogenic, shared (between self and tumor) antigens immunogenic, or able to produce an immune response. Further, they have created therapeutic polypeptides comprising tumor-associated embryonic antigens and chemoattractant ligands. Cancers targeted by these developments include breast, renal, lung, ovarian, and hematological cancers.
Cancer cells have been found to directly activate resting B cells to form suppressive regulatory B cells (tBregs) and utilize them to evade immune surveillance and mediate metastasis. tBregs directly inhibit CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activity in a cell contact-dependent manner, induce FoxP3+ T cell activity, and promote Treg-dependent metastasis. The National Institute on Aging's Immunotherapeutics Unit, is seeking parties interested in licensing or co-development of regulatory B cells to control autoimmune diseases and strategies that inactivate tBregs to control cancer immune escape.