Engineered CD47 protects T cells for enhanced antitumour immunity. (

These scientists were trying to find a better way to treat cancer by using a combination of treatments that activate different parts of the immune system. They wanted to use T cells, which are special immune cells that can target and kill cancer cells, along with antibodies that block a specific signal called the CD47-SIRPalpha axis.

However, they found that when they gave the T cells with the antibodies, the T cells were being cleared away too quickly by another type of immune cell called macrophages. So, they came up with a new idea to make the T cells resistant to being cleared by the macrophages.

They created a modified version of the CD47 signal called CD47(Q31P) or 47(E) that tells the macrophages not to eat the T cells. When they used this modified signal on the T cells along with the antibodies, the T cells were not cleared as quickly by the macrophages. Instead, the T cells were able to stay in the tumor area longer and work together with the macrophages to fight the cancer better.

This study shows that by combining treatments that activate both T cells and macrophages, we can have a stronger and more effective way to treat solid tumors.

Yamada-Hunter SA., Theruvath J., McIntosh BJ., Freitas KA., Lin F., Radosevich MT., Leruste A., Dhingra S., Martinez-Velez N., Xu P., Huang J., Delaidelli A., Desai MH., Good Z., Polak R., May A., Labanieh L., Bjelajac J., Murty T., Ehlinger Z., Mount CW., Chen Y., Heitzeneder S., Marjon KD., Banuelos A., Khan O., Wasserman SL., Spiegel JY., Fernandez-Pol S., Kuo CJ., Sorensen PH., Monje M., Majzner RG., Weissman IL., Sahaf B., Sotillo E., Cochran JR., Mackall CL. Engineered CD47 protects T cells for enhanced antitumour immunity. Nature. 2024 May 15. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07443-8.

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