July 13, 2024
Cancer Immunotherapy

Unraveling the Circadian Rhythm of the Immune System

Scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) Munich have shed new light on the significance of the immune system’s rhythmicity in tumor growth and development. Their findings, published in the journal Cell, could revolutionize cancer diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Immunotherapies, currently the most promising anti-cancer treatments, aim to enhance the patient’s immune system to combat Cancer Immunotherapy. However, the success of these therapies varies significantly. What factors contribute to this inconsistency?

Previous research conducted by the UNIGE and LMU team revealed the importance of the immune system’s rhythmicity in tumor growth. In their latest study, they have shown that the immune profile of tumors undergoes substantial changes depending on the time of day when biopsies are taken.

These temporal variations could lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment prescriptions. Moreover, previously overlooked therapeutic targets might prove crucial in the battle against cancer. These findings could have far-reaching implications for the organization of clinical care and the development of new drugs.

In 2022, Scheiermann’s team, led by Christoph Scheiermann, a full professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology and at the Center for Inflammation Research at the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine and the University of Munich, discovered an intriguing correlation: the growth and severity of tumors are linked to the circadian rhythm of immune cells. To apply these findings in a clinical setting, the researchers needed to explore the underlying mechanisms in a more realistic model. Scheiermann explains, “We needed to understand the details of this phenomenon in a more accurate model to translate our findings into clinical applications.”

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