Restricting Interferon Signaling Can Reinforce Checkpoint Blockade

Checkpoint inhibitor drugs can take the brakes off the immune system’s response to cancer, but they often encounter resistance. It turns out that releasing one set of brakes often isn’t enough. Ways must be found to release multiple brakes, despite the growing risk of adverse side effects. An alternative approach, one recently explored by scientists based at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, amounts to adjusting the master cylinder, which controls the pressure in an auto’s brake system.

The Penn Medicine researchers assert that shutting down the interferon pathway may improve the response to checkpoint inhibitor drugs. The researchers point to the results of their preclinical study, which appeared December 1 in the journal Cell, in an article entitled “Tumor Interferon Signaling Regulates a Multigenic Resistance Program to Immune Checkpoint Blockade.”

According to this article, the interferon pathway is critical to a tumor’s

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