In a collaborative effort Heinz Läubli and co-workers have identified a new potential target to improve T cell activation in immunotherapy.

The researchers focused on the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway, in particular on Siglec-9, an inhibitory receptor that is expressed on a broad range of immune cells on which it recognizes sialic acids expressed by tumors. They demonstrate that inhibition of this interaction improves the anti-tumor response and the effectiveness of the established anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 immunotherapies. Their findings, which were published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, are expected to have a direct impact on the development of novel cancer immunotherapies.