Innate Immunity and Cancer

Innate Immune Sensing Pathways In Cancer

Originally discovered as crucial components of innate immune defense against pathogens, innate immune sensors have emerged as major players in tumor immunosurveillance. Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) are the sensors that respond to danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) released by dying, damaged, or infected cells. DAMPs are potent triggers of inflammation that may not only trigger anti-tumor immune responses but also promote the development or progression of tumors in many settings

Like pathogens that have succeeded in coexisting with their hosts, highly aggressive, unstable tumors have evolved to co-opt innate danger-sensing pathways to drive tumorigenic behaviors. Our immunotherapies are designed to modulate ‘pathogen-induced-like’ innate immune responses at the tumor site for therapeutic purposes

Innate Memory or “Trained Immunity”

Innate Immune Memory or Trained Immunity is a novel phenomenon associated with a memory-like response in innate immune cells induced by the pathogens or PAMPs, exemplified by the BCG mycobacteria.

Innate immune cells, including monocytes and natural killer (NK) cells can induce non-specific immune protection against subsequent infections and improved surival of the host

Trained immunity induced by vaccination with the tuberculosis vaccine BCG results in heterologous protection against bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
 
BCG vaccination triggers epigenetic reprogramming through histone modification associated with specific genes in circulating monocytes leading to a “trained” state
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