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Bladder Cancer Study Points to Strategy For Enhancing Immunotherapy Response in Tumor Subset

In Cancer Cell, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and other centers describe a role for the natural killer- and CD8-positive T cell-inhibitory signal mediator NKG2A in bladder cancer response to PD-L1-targeting immune checkpoint blockade treatment. Starting with expression data spanning several cancer types profiled for the Cancer Genome Atlas project, the team saw ties between NKG2A expression and overall survival in individuals with bladder cancer, prompting additional analyses. Using a combination of published data, single-cell RNA sequencing on cells isolated from eight fresh bladder tumor samples, immune cell profiling, and other analyses, the authors teased out relationships between NKG2A-expressing CD8-positive T cells and tumors expressing varying levels and forms of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA). "Notably, NKG2A-positive CD8-positive T cells are inhibited when HLA-E is expressed by tumors and partly restored upon NKG2A blockade in an HLA-E-dependent manner," they report, adding that "our study provides a framework for subsequent clinical trials combining NKG2A blockade with other T cell-targeted immunotherapies, where tumors express higher levels of HLA-E."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.