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Recently, Dr. Haldar and his team have found that sarcomas can suppress the immune system through the secretion of retinoic acid (RA), a molecule which favors the formation of immune cells unable to detect tumors. Their latest findings demonstrate that inhibiting the RA pathway in sarcomas triggers a tumor rejection response by directly boosting the formation of tumor-detecting immune cells.
Dr. Haldar’s team has developed a combination therapy to bolster existing immunotherapy against sarcomas that produce high levels of RA. Their protocol combines conventional ICB therapy with molecules that block RA signaling in tumors, an approach found to greatly reduce the size and weight of tumors in mice (see figure). This strategy could enhance survival rates and quality of life for patients with sarcoma.