For the first time, the mechanism that allows cancer cells to escape detection and destruction by the immune system has been identified. This was discovered by a group of researchers from the National Cancer Center Singapore. The team identified the presence of pre-metastatic cells within the tumors, capable of moving from the area where the tumor originated to other parts of the body via the lymph nodes. The researchers saw that a substantial proportion of CD8+ cells, a key component of the immune system that seeks out and kills abnormal cells such as cancer cells, were ‘depleted’ and unable to fulfill their protective role. This occurs when immune cells have been repeatedly exposed to cancer and have been unable to clear it.
The discovery opens the door to the development of new strategies for treating cancers and curing even the most lethal ones, say the researchers. (HANDLE).
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