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Brown, J.M., Recht, L. and Strober, S. (2017) The Promise of Targeting Macrophages in Cancer Therapy. Clinical Cancer Research, 23, 3241-3250.

has been cited by the following article:

  • TITLE: Modeling Macrophage Polarization and Its Effect on Cancer Treatment Success

    AUTHORS: Valentin Morales, Luis Soto-Ortiz

    KEYWORDS: Macrophage Polarization, Feedback Loops, Immunosuppression, Mathematical Modeling, Cancer Therapy

    JOURNAL NAME: Open Journal of Immunology, Vol.8 No.2, June 29, 2018

    ABSTRACT: Positive feedback loops drive immune cell polarization toward a pro-tumor phenotype that accentuates immunosuppression and tumor angiogenesis. This phenotypic switch leads to the escape of cancer cells from immune destruction. These positive feedback loops are generated by cytokines such as TGF-β, Interleukin-10 and Interleukin-4, which are responsible for the polarization of monocytes and M1 macrophages into pro-tumor M2 macrophages, and the polarization of naive helper T cells intopro-tumor Th2 cells. In this article, we present a deterministic ordinary differential equation (ODE) model that includes key cellular interactions and cytokine signaling pathways that lead to immune cell polarization in the tumor microenvironment. The model was used to simulate various cancer treatments in silico. We identified combination therapies that consist of M1 macrophages or Th1 helper cells, coupled with an anti-angiogenic treatment, that are robust with respect to immune response strength, initial tumor size and treatment resistance. We also identified IL-4 and IL-10 as the targets that should be neutralized in order to make these combination treatments robust with respect to immune cell polarization. The model simulations confirmed a hypothesis based on published experimental evidence that a polarization into the M1 and Th1 phenotypes to increase the M1-to-M2 and Th1-to-Th2 ratios plays a significant role in treatment success. Our results highlight the importance of immune cell reprogramming as a viable strategy to eradicate a highly vascularized tumor when the strength of the immune response is characteristically weak and cell polarization to the pro-tumor phenotype has occurred.