In a joint study published between the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology and the School of Biological Sciences, a key aspect of the immune system has been put under scrutiny.
It is known that many therapeutic antibodies targeting cancer work by recruiting the immune system. However, the body has a large amount of other antibodies in circulation and within tissues that can act as competition for binding to the immune cell receptors that bind antibodies. In effect, these endogenous antibodies act as noise and obscures the signal from the antibody bound to the target cancer cell.
Previously, Prof. Max Crispin and colleagues have shown that by removing the competing antibodies the cell killing activity of cancer-specific antibodies can be much enhanced in their published article – Enzymatic Inactivation of Endogenous IgG by IdeS Enhances Therapeutic Antibody Efficacy.
In the current study, entitled Serum immunoglobulin and the threshold of Fc receptor-mediated immune activation published in BBA General Subjects the team reviewed how endogenous antibody acts to control how target-specific antibodies activate the immune system.
We are delighted to be able to highlight this important and under-appreciated aspect of the immune system and showcase how consideration of this signal-to-noise problem can inform the development of cancer therapies
Professor Steven Beers
University of Southampton
The lead author of the review was recent graduate, Dr Hannah Bauer-Smith, who was funded by Against Breast Cancer and supported by a generous donation by Cisco UK Cancer Support Network. The team’s cancer research are supported by Against Breast Cancer, the United States National Institute for Health, Cancer Research UK and the University of Southampton.
The full details of the published article are: Hannah Bauer-Smith, Abigail S.L. Sudol, Stephen A. Beers, Max Crispin. Serum immunoglobulin and the threshold of Fc receptor-mediated immune activation Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – General Subjects. Volume 1867, Issue 11, November 2023, 130448.