Attacking tumour hypoxia and relieving immunosuppression in cancer
Tumours are typically hypoxic – devoid of oxygen – producing microenvironments that greatly reduce the ability of traditional cancer immunotherapies to work properly. However, researchers are working towards overcoming this barrier.
Maurice Wilkins Centre scientists are using advanced techniques to identify new drugs that are able to suppress hypoxic mechanisms in tumour cells, or to kill the hypoxic cells selectively, leading to the enhancement of long-term immune memory and disease regression.
Targets of particular interest include amplified wild-type kinases not amenable to selective pharmacological intervention, as well as immune adjuvants which are essential for enhancing and directing the innate and adaptive immune responses.