Prof. Krysko and team demonstrate that early ferroptotic cancer cells are immunogenic, creating opportunities for new immunotherapeutic strategies


In this study, the interdisciplinary team of scientists from three different countries (Belgium, Italy, and Russia) under the leadership of Prof. Dmitri Krysko (UGent, CRIG) has shown that cancer cells in the early stages of ferroptosis (a specific type of cell death) are immunogenic (thus stimulating and activating the body's immune system to fight the cancer cells) The team (Iuliia Efimova, Dr. Elena Catanzaro, Louis Van der Meeren, Prof. Frauke Coppieters, Prof. André Skirtach, Dr. Olga Krysko) showed that early ferroptotic cancer cells' immunogenicity requires the emission of immunostimulatory molecules (such as ATP and HMGB1) and that the adaptive immune system's plays a detrimental role in this process.

The study opens perspectives for novel cancer treatments via immunotherapy. More specifically, the launch of immunogenic ferroptosis may help to overcome the resistance of cancer cells to undergo cell death and increase the effectiveness of anti-tumor treatments.

The study was published in the high impact 'Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer', and can be found via this link.