Williams Cancer Institute

Pentoxifylline an FDA Approved

Pentoxifylline, sold under the brand name Trental is typically used for vascular disease to increase blood flow due to its effect in reducing blood viscosity.  However, there is a gene called c-Rel that is important to maintain the function of regulatory cells such as Tregs and MDSC.  As I have discussed, the immune system has two sides, one that is regulatory, which has been tricked by cancer to protect it.  There is the other side that can attack cancer.

Our goal is to tip the balance in favor of attacking cancer.   In a study published by Grinberg-Bleyer, et al in Cell, Sept 7, 2017, titled “NF-kB c-Rel Is Crucial for the Regulatory T Cell Immune Checkpoint in Cancer” they describe how blocking c-Rel can reduce the regulatory function of Tregs.  In addition, Li, et al published in Nature Cancer, May 18, 2020, an article titled “c-Rel is a Myeloid Checkpoint for Cancer Immunotherapy” which discusses MDSC.