With the advent of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy, treatment strategies for late-stage cancers have seen a radical advancement. In this issue of the JCI, Wang et al. characterize the functional role of miR-155 in breast cancer and its potential in harnessing the efficacy of immunotherapy. The study reports that high expression levels of miR-155 in breast cancer cells downregulated suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), increased the phosphorylated STAT1 (pSTAT1)/pSTAT3 ratio, and thereby stimulated chemoattractants for tumor infiltration of effector T cells. Moreover, miR-155 overexpression set the stage for ICB therapy via increased programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on cancer cells and enhanced immunological memory response via the release of miR-155–containing extracellular vesicles. Collectively, these data suggest that miR-155 is a strong candidate as a prognostic biomarker for ICB therapy.
Samantha Sharma, Mateusz Opyrchal, Xiongbin Lu