Researchers Restore Function in Gene (p53) That Can Suppress Liver Cancer and Enhance Immunotherapy

A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has reprogrammed the tumor microenvironment of liver cancer by using mRNA nanoparticles. This technology, similar to the one used in COVID-19 vaccines, restored the function of the p53 master regulator gene, a tumor suppressor mutated in not just liver, but also other types of cancer. When used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), the p53 mRNA nanoparticle approach not only induced suppression of tumor growth but also significantly increased antitumor immune responses in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) laboratory models. The results of the study were published online on February 9, 2022 in Nature Communications. The open-access article is titled “Combining p53 mRNA Nanotherapy with Immune Checkpoint Blockade Reprograms the Immune Microenvironment for Effective Cancer Therapy.”
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