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Monday, August 21, 2017

Fight against cancer:

Featured here is Indra and Rani Anandasabapathy's daughter Niroshana. I am pleased to publish this on our Blog. "Cell" and "Nature" are two of the most prestigious journals in the Basic Sciences.

New insights into why the immune system fails to see cancer


cancer
Killer T cells surround a cancer cell. Credit: NIH
Journal reference: Cell search and more info website
Provided by: Brigham and Women's Hospital search and more info 






Cancer hides in plain sight of the immune system. The body's natural tumor surveillance programs should be able to detect and attack rogue cancer cells when they arise, and yet when cancer thrives, it does so because these defense systems have failed. A team of investigators led by Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, PhD, at Brigham and Women's Hospital have uncovered a critical strategy that some cancers may be using to cloak themselves - they find evidence of this genetic program across 30 human cancers of the peripheral tissue, including melanoma skin cancer. Their r"Our study reveals a new immunotherapy target and provides an evolutionary basis for why the immune system may fail to detect cancers arising in tissues," said corresponding author Anandasabapathy, of BWH's Department of Dermatology. "The  we report on helps the immune system balance itself. Parts of this program prevent the immune system from destroying healthy organs or tissues, but might also leave a  for detecting and fighting cancer."
The authors studied immune mononuclear phagocytes - a group of disparate cells that act as the "Pac man" of the immune system. When these cells detect foreign invaders and dying normal tissues, they devour or engulf their components. These cells then present these components on their surface teach T  to maintain tolerance to healthy tissues, or to fight infections and pathogens. Despite differences in function, all immune mononuclear phagocytes found in the skin- (a peripheral tissue like lung and gut) share a common set of genetic programming, which is further enhanced when they enter the tissue. This program is conserved in fetal and adult development, and across species. And, the research team reports, is co-opted by multiple human cancers of tissue.esults are published June 29 in Cell.
The team finds that this program is prompted by an "instructive cue" from interferon gamma - a molecule that plays a critical role in regulating immunity. The authors find IFN-gamma for mononuclear phagocytes in development but that IFN-gamma and tissue immune signatures are much higher in skin cancer than in healthy skin. Having an  measured by IFN-gamma and tissue signatures correlated with improved metastatic melanoma survival outcomes, making these signatures potential biomarkers for cancer survival.
The authors reasoned such a program might contain key molecules that help the immune system reduce inflammation, but that might also leave a blind spot to cancer detection. One of the key genes the researchers detected is suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2). When this gene was turned off in a mouse model, the immune system was able to robustly detect and reject cancer in models of melanoma and thymoma ( of the thymus). They also observed improved vaccination responses, and heightened auto-inflammation suggesting this gene normally dampens auto-infla
"Our research suggests that these cancers are co-opting -specific immune development to escape detection, but we see that turning off SOCS2 unmasks them," said Anandasabapathy. "This sheds new light on our understanding of how the immune system is programed to see cancers and also points the way toward new therapeutic targets for treating cancers that have these signatures."
More information: Nirschl CJ et al. "IFN-gamma-dependent tissue immune homeostasis is co-opted in the tumor microenvironment" Cell DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.01mmatory responses and contracts protective immunity.

Please also read the write up in yesterday's Sunday Times. 



Sunday Times 2

Fight against cancer: Doctor with Lankan roots leads team in research breakthrough

View(s): 253

NEW YORK – A team of investigators, led by Dr Niroshana Anandasabapathy, a physician of Sri Lankan parentage and an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Harvard Medical School, has discovered new insights into why the immune system fails to see cancer—even though “it hides in plain sight of the immune system”.
The body’s natural tumour surveillance programmes should be able to detect and attack rogue cancer cells when they arise, and yet when cancer thrives, it does so because these defence systems have failed, according to the study.
Described as a new frontier for cancer, and called immunotherapy, the investigators have uncovered a critical strategy that some cancers may be using to cloak themselves as they have found evidence of this genetic programme across 30 human cancers of the peripheral tissue, including melanoma skin cancer. Their results have been published in Cell, a medical research journal.
“Our study reveals a new immunotherapy target and provides an evolutionary basis for why the immune system may fail to detect cancers arising in tissues,” said Anandasabapathy. “The genetic programme we report on helps the immune system balance itself. Parts of this programme prevent the immune system from destroying healthy organs or tissues, but might also leave a blind spot for detecting and fighting cancer.”
Dr Anandasabapathy, the lead author, is an MD, Phd from the Stanford University Medical School, held a Dermatology Fellowship at the New York University Medical Center, researched in Immunology at the Rockefeller Institute and worked with the late Ralph Steinman – (who was awarded the Nobel prize for his work on the role of DENDRITIC cells in immunology).

Currently at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr Anandasabapathy is the daughter of Rani and Dr Indra Anandasabapathy, an anesthesiologist in Staten Island, New York, and who graduated from the Medical School in Colombo in 1967.











13 comments:

  1. We are proud of Dr Niroshana Anandasabapathy's wonderful achievements over many years both as a student and a physician. Many congratulations. You have indeed brought honour to your parents. I send you my very best wishes for a long and rewarding career.

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  2. Rani & Indra,
    It is a stupendous achievement by your beloved Daughter. As a Haematologist myself, do have some insight to the subject material. It is wonderful reading though some of the material is entirely new to me yet can just about comprehend.
    May she progress deep into the subject and my sincere wish is to hear that she has got the Nobel Prize.
    It is not a dream, reality within reach.
    Wish her all our good wishes and every success.
    It is an achievement to have brought forth such a child to the world.
    Wish you two all the very best good health, peace & Happiness.
    May God be with you all

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  3. Congratulations Niroshana, and congratulations to the proud parents too!
    Immunotherapy is the future in the treatment of malignancies. It has made a huge difference in the treatment of certain types of cancers already. This type of research has influenced the practice of pathology as well, because now when we diagnose a malignancy, that is not the end of the story, because we also attempt to identify certain 'markers' (usually antigens) which would help in the choice of therapy.
    Wish you all the best in your work and life, Niroshana.

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  4. What an amazing girl! You must be so very proud of her and her achievements Indra and Rani. Niroshana, my sincere admiration and best wishes to you in your career in general and your research in particular. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you but your warm smile says it all! Good luck again.

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  5. Indra and Rani are in Sri Lanka right now. I will be sending the blog link to Indra as he has limited access to the Internet. I would like him to see the comments. It was with much difficulty that I coaxed Indra (always modest to his fingertips) to give his consent to post this.

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  6. That doesn't surprise me. He is such a modest and "down to Earth" guy.

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  8. I am extremely proud that Indra&Rani has brought to to this world a genius.
    I wish Niroshana all the success in the world to continue with a research into the mysteries of immunology,in the years to come.
    I wish,I will live to see her reaching the highest position in the field of medicine.

    Sumathi

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  9. Path breaking achievement in the frontiers of medical research-congratulations to the proud parents!
    Indra & Rani-your daughter is most charming as well.
    My congratulations and best wishes to Niroshana
    Manel Wijesundera

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  10. Thank you very much Manel.It was wonderful meeting & speaking to you at length at both the reunion & again in Colombo a few days ago.
    Sorry, we could not take up on your kind invitation to the hill capital.
    Regards,
    Indra

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  11. Dear Niroshana, My heartiest congratulations to you on your great achievements thus far in this very important research.
    I had already congratulated your parents when I saw this coming !
    They can be rightfully proud of you, as well as your sister Sharmila who has achieved much in her field. I wish you both the very best in the way of fulfilling and rewarding careers, and all else that life can offer .
    Congratulations once again Indra and Rani

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  13. It was great meeting you Indra and Rani in Colomboand enjoying your hospitality We hope we will meet your charming daughters too one day.
    Congratulations Niroshana and Sharmila on the work you are doing and your substantial achievements.Your parents are justly proud of you.They are of course very modest of their own achievements.As many of us know,first generation migrants have to struggle to get to the top.Even for the second generation reaching first rank is not easy.This makes your achievements all the more creditable.
    We wish you both the very best in life and careers.
    Kumar and Kanthi Gunawardane.

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