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As part of this process, instead of fighting disease, immune cells.

Breaking boundaries: Mye-EUNITER establishes a common yet robust protocol for the comparative analysis of myeloid cells (MDSC) in various diseases

Immunologists around the world have been focusing their endeavours increasingly on better understanding how a specialised cellular subset, known as myeloid regulatory cells, contributes towards disease progression and pathogenesis. However, a lack of consensus on markers, protocols and analytical methods has made it extremely difficult to study and compare the function of these cells in different diseases and experimental models.

After six years of close collaboration with experts and laboratories around Europe, the former COST Action BM1404 - European Network of Investigators Triggering Exploratory Research on Myeloid Regulatory Cells (Mye-EUNITER) - has published findings from a successful pioneering European-wide study for monitoring an important myeloid subset, termed Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC), in the peripheral blood of patients with malignant, inflammatory and infectious diseases. A standardised and harmonised analytical method was applied to samples at the participating research centres to generate the first truly comparative database of these cells in various human diseases.

“To the best of our knowledge this step is the first harmonised and standardised MDSC analysis initiative world-wide,” says Prof. Sven Brandau, the former Action’s Chair and head of the host laboratory at the University Hospital Essen, Germany. “What is exciting about this new procedure is that we were able to accurately compare the features of myeloid cells in illnesses as diverse as for example breast or skin cancer, HIV or hepatitis infections, or inflammation induced by Psoriasis or cardiovascular disease. This knowledge is implicit for developing ways of turning the detrimental regulatory function of myeloid cells into a promising therapeutic tool to treat these very same diseases.”

The results of the multicentre study, the Mye-EUNITER MDSC Monitoring Initiative, which involved thirteen laboratories and compared circulating MDSC subsets across multiple diseases using a common yet sufficiently robust protocol for the isolation, identification and characterisation of these cells has just been published in the highly-respected Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. The laboratories from the European Research Area collaborated closely to develop and test the innovative new protocol and included member scientists from France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

Open-Access Publication:
Cassetta L, Bruderek K, Skrzeczynska-Moncznik J, et al. Differential expansion of circulating human MDSC subsets in patients with cancer, infection and inflammation. J Immunother Cancer. 2020;8(2):e001223. doi:10.1136/jitc-2020-001223

COST Success Story:
Special news feature on the COST Association website:Breaking boundaries: Cost Action Mye-EUNITER