Cross-resistance: when cancer therapy backfires

Scientists at the IMP and collaborators have investigated how different forms of cancer therapy can influence the efficacy of subsequent therapies. They found that administering targeted therapy, drugs which target mutated cells, could jeopardise the effectiveness of immune stimulating immunotherapies in skin cancer patients – an important finding as these treatments are often given to patients in this sequence. This phenomenon, called cross-resistance, highlights the need to understand how therapies shape tumours. The researchers’ findings, now published in the journal Nature Cancer, will help improve clinical practices.

Immune cells (red and magenta) infiltrating a skin tumour in a patient melanoma (yellow) biopsy. Credit: Translational Research Laboratory, Melanoma Institute Australia.

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