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Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

A Swedish, Belarusian, and Finnish team reporting in eBioMedicine describes an immunotherapy response-related tumor microenvironment score that takes tumor-boosting or -banishing immune features into account. Starting with colorectal cancer, the researchers relied on multiplex immunohistochemistry to profile immune cells spanning 15 classes, coming up with a tumor microenvironment "signature of immune activation" (SIA) that took anti-tumor CD8-positive lymphocyte and tumor-associated macrophages into account. After assessing the signature in more detail with available single-cell and bulk RNA sequences from colorectal cancer, lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, immune checkpoint-treated melanoma, uveal melanoma, or cancer-free tissues, they considered ties to survival across several cancer types, both for SIA and an RNA-based version of the score. "[W]e have identified an immune cell signature combining CD8 cytotoxic T-cells and a distinct TAM subset reflecting anti- and pro-tumorigenic immune reactions," they report. "This marker-defined signature had a strong prognostic impact in at least five main solid tumor types and a response predictive relevance in three tested tumor types."

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.