A drug first designed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying has a second effect: it switches immune cells that turn down the body’s attack on tumors back into the kind that amplify it. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and recently published in Cancer Immunology Research.
According to experiments in mice, macrophages—immune cells that home in on tumors—take in the drug nab-paclitaxel (brand name Abraxane®). Once inside these cells, say the study authors, the drug changes them so that they signal for an aggressive anti-tumor immune response.
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