A new research paper shows evidence that immunization with devil facial tumor cells plus adjuvants (i.e. immune stimulators) primes anti-tumor immune responses. Subsequent booster shots with live tumor cells induced tumor regressions in 3/5 devils.
This new publication shows that the key immune checkpoint molecule PD-L1 (aka B7-H1) is upregulated on devil facial tumour cells in response to interferon-gamma (IFNg). This could be an important immune evasion mechanism used by the tumour to shut off anti-tumour responses by T cells and NK cells.
Wild Immunity research published in Functional Ecology is featured in Smithsonian magazine.