DREADDs cure cancer?

An interesting and provocative paper recently published in Nature Communications:

"Modulation of anti-tumor immunity by the brain’s reward system"

They conclude:

"Activation of the reward system in tumor-bearing mice (Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and B16 melanoma) using chemogenetics (DREADDs), resulted in reduced tumor weight. This effect was mediated via the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), manifested by an attenuated noradrenergic input to a major immunological site, the bone marrow. Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which develop in the bone marrow, became less immunosuppressive following reward system activation. By depleting or adoptively transferring the MDSCs, we demonstrated that these cells are both necessary and sufficient to mediate reward system effects on tumor growth. Given the central role of the reward system in positive emotions, these findings introduce a physiological mechanism whereby the patient’s psychological state can impact anti-tumor immunity and cancer progression.....

Moreover, given the central role of the reward system in mood regulation, the finding that the reward system can affect anti-tumor immunity and tumor growth introduces a new mechanistic insight into the epidemiological connection between mental states and cancer progression."


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