Guillaume Andrieu PhD and Jordan Shafran report research on new mechanisms to develop immunotherapy for triple negative breast cancer

The research team of Andrieu and Shafran, directed by Gerald Denis PhD, in the BU-BMC Cancer Center, has just reported that “BET bromodomain targeting suppresses the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in triple-negative breast cancer and elicits anti-tumor immune response”, which appeared today in Cell Reports ‘Sneak Peek’

The mechanisms that control the expression of immune inhibitory molecules in diverse cancer types, such as PD-L1, and host immune receptors such as PD-1 on T cells in the tumor microenvironment, are being investigated urgently. New tools to inhibit these checkpoints show great promise to unleash anti-tumor immunity, and results of recent cancer clinical trials are encouraging. Immunotherapy as an exciting and evolving field was recognized on October 1, 2018, with the award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to Honjo and Allison. On the other hand, clinical cases in which immune therapy approaches fail are poorly understood, and failure is common enough for certain cancer types to have caused widespread frustration in clinical trials. Given the limited therapeutic options available to patients with triple negative breast cancer, new modalities are urgently needed, and promising results from new immunotherapy clinical trials could quickly reshape the treatment of this subtype of breast cancer.

Here, Andrieu, Shafran and Denis show that inhibition of the BET bromodomain protein family can reduce PD-L1 expression in cellular models of triple negative breast cancer. It is also highly innovative and significant that they show these same pathways control PD-1 expression in human primary T cells, which holds out the possibility that multiple relevant cells in the tumor microenvironment could be targeted by these approaches. They are continuing this research, with support from the National Cancer Institute with a new grant, called “BET bromodomain proteins and the immunometabolism of triple negative breast cancer” (R01 CA222170).

Moakley 3 Nursing Team Has Won the Daisy Team Award

I am very proud and excited to share that the Moakley 3 Nursing team has won the Daisy Team Award. The team was presented with the award on Tuesday by Nancy Gaden. They received a certificate, a beautiful statue, and a plaque that we will have hung on the unit.

What is the Daisy Team Award?

The DAISY Team Award is a concept brought to us by DAISY Award Partner Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. It recognizes that while an idea to achieve better patient and family outcomes may start with one individual, it often takes an entire team to implement successfully. The DAISY Team Award is designed to honor collaboration by two or more people, led by a nurse, who identify and meet patient and/or patient family needs by going above and beyond the traditional role of Nursing.

Our team was nominated by a patient and his wife:
All the nurses need to be recognized. Choosing one from all of the angels on this floor is impossible. When you hear the word cancer it is devastating. My husband has received unbelievable help- assistance from all of this amazing floor. As his wife, they never forget that I too am going through this diagnosis alongside of my husband. All the medical professionals on this floor deserve to be recognized for their patience, expertise, devotion to all patients, especially to my husband! They said 90% of fighting cancer is attitude. We both have a great attitude because of these healthcare professionals, so again we nominate the whole floor to be recognized! Choosing one is not easy! They all deserve recognition.