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Toshimitsu Ohashi, Takashi Akazawa, Mitsuhiro Aoki, Bunya Kuze, Keisuke Mizuta, Yatsuji Ito and Norimitsu Inoue Dichloroacetate improves immune dysfunction caused by tumor-secreted lactic acid and increases antitumor immunoreactivity International Journal of Cancer 133

Version of Record online: 16 MAR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ijc.28114

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Contrary to their usual protective function, immune cells can also enhance tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. In this study, the authors found that when lactic acid is secreted by tumor cells, it can play two independent roles in promoting tumor development: First, it inhibits the immune response by increasing arginase-1 expression in myeloid cells. Secondly, it induces inflammation within the tumor microenvironment by activating the IL-23/IL-17 pathway. The authors then found that dichloroacetate (DCA) can suppress both the inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of lactic acid. DCA may therefore improve the effectiveness of anti-tumor immunotherapy.

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