Varying immune cell levels in canine brain tumors could provide therapeutic targets
A new study reveals that high-grade gliomas, or brain tumors, in dogs contained more immune cells associated with suppressing immune response than low-grade gliomas.
The work, which is the most extensive examination of immune cell infiltration in canine glioma to date, adds to the body of evidence that these brain tumors might recruit cells that aid in immunosuppression. The findings could have implications for future immunotherapy-based glioma treatments in both humans and dogs.
Glial cells are support cells located throughout the brain and spinal cord. When those cells become cancerous, the resulting tumor is called a glioma. In dogs, gliomas are the second most common type of tumor in the central nervous system and represent about 35% of all intracranial cancers. Median survival time for dogs with glioma treated with radiation therapy ranges from nine to 14 months, which is similar to the 14 month median survival time for humans treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
There are three types of canine glioma: oligodendroglioma, astrocytoma or undefined glioma. Each of these subtypes can be further classified as low or high-grade based on certain microscopic features. Although glioma subtype and grade affect survival and treatment choice in humans, it is currently unknown whether the same is true for dogs.
Immunotherapy harnesses the power of the body's immune system to attack cancer. Though immunotherapy has shown promise in certain types of cancers, it hasn't been successful in glioma in humans, possibly because gliomas have been shown to suppress the immune system in order to facilitate tumor growth. Researchers are trying to better understand the interaction between glioma and the immune system with hopes of improving therapeutic outcomes. [...]