Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Telling T cells
18 August 2017

Telling T cells

Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that uses and bolsters the body’s natural defences to fight cancer. Although immunotherapy can be effective in slowing and even stopping the growth of cancer cells, further insight into identifying why this treatment can fail has been needed. By studying cancer patients’ immune cells, researchers discovered a subtype of T cells (pictured in red infiltrating tumour tissue) called tissue-resident T cells whose presence could help to predict effective anti-tumour response in patients with lung cancer. They found that the existence of large numbers of these tissue-resident T cells within cancerous tissue meant that the patients’ immune system was more likely to carry out an immune response to their tumour, and that they were also 34% more likely to survive. This research is crucial to understanding patient responses to cancer treatments and could help personalise future therapies.

Written by Katie Panteli

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