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BioX – New Approach for Predicting Patient Response to Cancer Treatment

April 17, 2024 | 7:08 pm |

At the February immuno-oncology themed BioX journal club meeting, held on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, Taja Ložar, the ASEF junior fellow 2019, presented a paper by Dr Bill et al., titled “CXCL9:SPP1 macrophage polarity identifies a network of cellular programs that control human cancers“.

Research in modern translational oncology, especially in the era of immunotherapy, is increasingly focused on studying the tumor immune microenvironment and its dynamics. Macrophages are one of the key immune cell groups that can take on either anti-tumor or pro-tumor roles during tumor growth (known as M1 and M2 macrophage subtypes). This macrophage polarity is being investigated as a prognostic and predictive immune signature of the tumor.

ASEF Fellows were introduced to a new approach for studying macrophage polarity, which, instead of using classical immune markers for M1 and M2 subtypes, employs the ratio between the expression of SPP1 and CXCL9 proteins. This approach suggests that by utilizing new cellular markers (or the ratios between them), we can better predict treatment response in comparison to the classical approach. The article raises questions about the adequacy of the existing paradigm of macrophage polarity and associated cellular markers, presenting a novel approach to studying relevant immune populations in the tumor microenvironment.

The interesting presentation was followed by a long discussion. Taja shared further insights into clinical trials in general, comparisons between immunotherapeutics and chemotherapeutics, and the process by which physicians decide on a patient’s treatment.

ASEF Journal Club ASEF Junior Fellows Štipendisti ASEF