Inhibiting DNA Methylation Causes an Interferon Response in Cancer via dsRNA Including Endogenous Retroviruses
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We show that DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTis) upregulate immune signaling in cancer through the viral defense pathway and re-expression of epigenetically silenced endogenous retrovirus. In melanoma patients treated with an immune checkpoint therapy, high viral defense signature expression in tumors significantly associates with durable clinical response and DNMTi treatment sensitizes to anti-CTLA4 therapy in a pre-clinical melanoma model.
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