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S100 calcium binding protein A8 (S100A8; calgranulin A; MRP8); S100A9 (calgranulin B; MRP14)

In vitro and mouse studies identified myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC)-depleting peptides that could help promote antitumor immunity. Immunosuppressive MDSCs in the tumor environment help tumors evade immune detection. Phage-display studies identified two peptides targeting MDSC-expressed S100A8 and S100A9. In a mouse model of cancer, i.v. injection of either peptide fused to mouse IgG2b depleted MDSCs in blood and spleen, delayed tumor development and decreased tumor size compared with injection of a control peptide-antibody fusion or no treatment. Next steps include developing a therapeutic targeting human MDSCs.
Active Biotech AB and Ipsen Group have tasquinimod, a small molecule that binds S100A9, in Phase III testing to treat prostate cancer.

SciBX 7(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.733
Published online June 26, 2014

Patent application filed covering the peptide-antibody fusions; licensing discussions under way

Qin, H. et al. Nat. Med.; published online May 25, 2014;
Contact: Larry W. Kwak, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas