The brain is a sort of fortress, equipped with barriers designed to keep out dangerous pathogens.
The brain is a sort of fortress, equipped with barriers designed to keep out dangerous pathogens. But protection comes at a cost: These barriers interfere with the immune system when faced with dire threats such glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumor for which there are few effective treatments.
Yale researchers have found a novel way to circumvent the brain’s natural defenses when they’re counterproductive by slipping immune system rescuers through the fortresses’ drainage system, they report Jan. 15 in the journal Nature.
“People had thought there was very little the immune system could do to combat brain tumors,” said senior corresponding author Akiko Iwasaki. “There has been no way for glioblastoma patients to benefit from immunotherapy.”
Iwasaki is the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Read more at Yale University
Illustration by Michael S. Helfenbein