RU486 for Decreasing Suppressive Monocytes in Cancer and Sepsis Suppressive monocytes have been found in a number of different conditions including sepsis, cancer, and trauma victims. Presence of large numbers of these cells (typically CD14+/DR-) is predictive of poor prognosis. Suppressive monocytes contribute to systemic immune suppression, prevent the differentiation of monocytes into antigen presenting cells, and can directly inhibit T cell function. Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that RU-486 (mifepristone) can re-program suppressive monocytes back into normal monocytes and may be used to prevent the conversion of normal monocytes to suppressive monocytes.
Application Prophylactic therapy prior to major surgery or chemotherapy, supportive care for burn victims, or treatment for any other condition where suppressive monocytes may occur could reduce immune suppression and improve patient outcomes.
Stage of Development In vitro experiments showed that RU-486 restored expression of normal monocyte phenotypes in a dose-dependent fashion.