Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Killer T cells recognize cancer in pre-clinical tumors, but are silenced as tumor develops
In a tumor's pre-clinical stages, certain immune cells can recognize changes that make these cells behave as cancerous cells and attempt to launch an immune attack. However, the T cells that are recognizing these 'driver' mutations in the tumor are rapidly turned off and then permanently silenced, making the cells non-functional. If researchers can find a way to reverse that silencing, the tumor-recognizing T cells could be rescued and could potentially improve the performance of certain immunotherapies.