August 23, 2018 – YAP and Cancer


Anchor lead: A protein known as YAP may be important in both cancer and autoimmune disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Can inhibiting a protein known by the shorthand YAP help improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies against cancer? Yes, if results in animal models hold up in the clinic, a study by Fan Tan, a cancer immunology expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown.

Tan: The role of the YAP in the immune system is relatively new.  :05

Turns out YAP is found in some regulatory immune cells in the body, already known to damp down the body’s immune response to tumors. When YAP is inhibited, and when immunotherapies are also used, enhanced tumor cell killing is possible.

Tan: So that’s why we think YAP is one of the potential target for the immunotherapy. :05

Tan notes that enhancing YAP may prove to be a promising target in managing autoimmune disease, where too much of an immune response is seen. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.