Activating Phagocytic Macrophages in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Macrophage-mediated phagocytosis is an important mechanism to eliminate diseased and malignant cells. Malignant lymphoma cells overexpress CD47, thereby avoiding eradication by providing a so-called don't-eat-me signal.

The project team in the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma SPORE proposes blocking CD47/SIRPα signaling to restore an eat-me message.

Not all macrophages in lymphoma tumors express SIRPα, however. The research team has defined populations that are CD14+SIRPαhigh and those that are CD14-SIRPαlow/-. The team also proposes determining the function of these two populations, identifying whether the innate phagocytic immune system targets lymphoma cells and testing whether blocking an innate immune checkpoint (CD47/SIRPα signaling) improves the anti-tumor immune response.