New research on PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors is raising questions on the positive and negative effects of popular cancer treatments, calling for further studies.
PD-L1 Inhibits Chronic Pain in Mice
Ru-Rong Ji (Duke University) and Yu-Qiu Zhang (Fudan University) have shown that PD-L1 can lessen acute and chronic pain when injected into mice. The team found that PD-LI — a protein inhibited by some cancer immunotherapies — is also produced by normal, healthy skin and spinal cord tissues. These findings could be used to develop new analgesics and improve pain monitoring and management practices in patients being treated with PD-LI inhibiting immunotherapies.
Immunotherapies May Worsen Cancer in Patients with Some Genetic Mutations
Two recent studies suggest that PD-1 inhibiting immunotherapies can have an unintended impact on cancer cells for patients with some rare genetic alterations, causing their tumors to grow and spread. Some patients with EGFR mutations or extra copies of MDM2 and MDM4 experienced rapid tumor advancement following immunotherapy.
The researchers are calling for more exploration of these findings and studies on larger populations.