Exogenous IL-33 is a potential immunotherapy for established cancer

Earlier this year, Rheaply members Donye Dominguez and Lei Qin published and reported a new role of IL-33 in tumor growth and tumor immunity. This report can be found in the Journal of Immunology entitled, “Exogenous IL-33 Restores Dendritic Cell Activation and Maturation in Established Cancer.” (article) Principally, they found that IL-33 pretreatment inhibited growth of established tumors in transplant and de novo melanoma animal models only after 8 days post-injection of IL-33. They also found how this works: through activation and expansion of CD8+ T cells, IL-33 activates myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) through binding of the IL-33 receptor ST2 on mDCs. This great and important finding has led to further clincial investigation of IL-33 in tumorigenesis. In fact, in a report that Lei and colleagues are preparing, they have observed that IL-33 inhibits leukemia by restoring the anti-tumor killing function of CD8+ T cells and also by boosting mDC function. Be on the look out for this paper, all the great things that Donye and Lei are doing at Northwestern. By the way, Donye just defended his PhD, and so we at Rheaply want to say CONGRATS and best of luck in the future!

Here’s the notes from our conversation. Great work that Donye and Lei are doing!