The purpose of this post is to demonstrate the utility of Biovista’s Vizit to review and explore specific biomedical domains. In the current example, Vizit is used to identify genes, cell types and microbiome organisms related to Regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the setting of cancer immunotherapy. These entities may have an impact on the role of Tregs in colorectal cancer and inflammation.

Microbiome, Regulatory T Cells, cancer immunotherapy

Tregs serve as negative regulators of T cell activation and play a crucial role in maintaining peripheral tolerance and regulating autoimmunity. In cancer, Tregs are implicated in the control of inflammation but mainly contribute to tumor escape. This creates a great challenge for immunotherapeutic strategies which aim to enhance anti-tumor immune responses by suppressing Tregs without compromising their ability to maintain peripheral immune homeostasis. Restoration of immune homeostasis is crucial for the management of chronic inflammatory disorders and inflammation-related cancers (e.g. colorectal), whereby Tregs seem to act by down-regulating inflammation. Gut microbiome organisms have recently shown prominence as key modulators of Treg function, conferring either a pro- or an anti-carcinogenic potential, thus influencing the fate of tumor immunotherapy approaches.

Understanding the diverse role of Tregs and mapping relations with other cell types or microbiome organisms in various cancers, as well as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases is of paramount importance as there is need for novel combinatorial immunomodulatory strategies against cancer.

The interactive graph shown in the figure above – and in the url below, reviews the knowledge around Tregs, associated diseases and the microbiome.

http://www.biovista.com/vizit-research/#!bv_gid=f13b839e6c340aa0214fafa1451a5d80

The graph can be modified and shared, forming the basis of an open platform for science communication in the field of cancer immunotherapy.