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Unexpected role of mTORC2 protein in colorectal cancer

tumour cells in different colors © Medical University Vienna

mTORC2 activity was only found in certain immune cells, which actually need this protein to fight cancer cells.
A tumour is not only made up of cancer cells but also contains a large number of different types of immune cells, which normally fight against the cancer cells. However, many tumours have developed strategies to reprogramme immune cells so that they actually start to assist tumour growth. In the age of immunotherapy, which is very successful in reactivating the immune system, research into how tumour cells and immune cells interact is of major importance.
mTORC2 promotes tumour growth – but not in colorectal cancer
Here the mTORC2 protein plays an important role and is currently the target of a series of new drugs that can successfully inhibit the growth of cancer cells in a test tube. The expectations are therefore high that, in the future, mTORC2 inhibitors could be effective in many types of cancer including colorectal cancer. A Medical University of Vienna research team led by Thomas Weichhart's group has now discovered that mTORC2 is actually not active in colorectal cancer cells but only in certain immune cells, so-called macrophages, which normally fight cancer cells. These findings have now been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight.


Read more in the blog about Cancer Research in Austria: Life Sciences "Made in Austria".

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