Potential Therapeutic Targets in Gallbladder Cancer

Congratulations to FECRI scientists Dr Prashanth Prithviraj and Dr Aparna Jayachandran who have published research into Gallbladder cancer ‘CD73 and PD-L1 as Potential Therapeutic Targets in Gallbladder Cancer’ in International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is an abnormal growth of cells that begins in the gallbladder. The main function of gall bladder is to store bile, which helps the body break down and digest the fats you eat.

GBC is a rare but highly lethal cancer with estimated 5-year overall survival rates of 2% once the cancer has spread. No targeted therapies have been approved for treatment of GBCs.

There is a pressing need for exploring better treatment strategies to improve these patients’ outcomes. As immune system dysregulation is associated GBC pathogenesis, checkpoint inhibitor drugs offer an attractive treatment option. There is a need to better understand how immune checkpoints (IC) are regulated in GBC.

This study provides valuable insights into the association of highly aggressive cells populations such as cancer stem cells (CSC) and cells undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) with immune checkpoint (IC) expression in GBC. We investigated CD73 and PD-L1 as promising candidates for immunotherapeutic treatment by studying the CSC-EMT-IC axis in GBC.

This research highlights that blocking immune checkpoints (CD73 and PD-L1) offer a promising therapeutic strategy for improving GBC patient prognosis.

This research was undertaken in collaboration with the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, and the University of Queensland.

Click here to read the research paper.