Conférence à 10h30 à Bordeaux (CGFB) – Concepts in Cancer series

Curzio Ruegg, Université de Fribourg, Suisse

Type I interferon/IRF7 axis instigates chemotherapy-induced immunological breast cancer dormancy

Vendredi 23 Mars 10h30- Au Centre de génomique fonctionnelle de Bordeaux (campus de Carreire)

Chemotherapy is widely used as a curative, adjuvant, and palliative treatment in breast cancer. While it is generally assumed that adjuvant chemotherapy works by killing residual or disseminated cancer cells, the observation that relapses can occur years to decades after treatment, suggests that other mechanisms, such as induction of dormancy and/or of an immune equilibrium may be involved. We recently demonstrated that breast cancer cells treated by chemotherapy induce a long-lasting protective T cell-dependent immune response that maintains cancer cells in a dormant state. Genome-wide gene expression analyses revealed as strong activation IRF7/type I interferon axis in the treated cells. This type I interferon response tips the balance from an immunosuppressive, MDSC-dominated response toward a T lymphocyte-mediated an anti-tumor response. This study demonstrates that chemotherapy can induce a state of sustained immunological dormancy and identifies type I IFNs as potential powerful therapeutic node to improve the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy.