The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

Killing Tumors with Cytokine-ness

Mouse melanoma tumor slice with collagen-binder anchored to collagen surronding

Immune cell signaling proteins, known as cytokines, are highly toxic—not just to tumors but, unfortunately, to healthy tissue as well. Wittrup Lab researchers are delivering cytokines directly into solid tumors and using the collagen-binding protein lumican to confine these cell-killing proteins within the tumoral space. Their strategy, described in Science Translational Medicine, leverages the protective layer of collagen produced by the cancer cells to prevent leakage of these toxic agents into the bloodstream and opens up previously-closed avenues for combination immunotherapy. Read more.