Cancer patient, heal thyself


Specifically activated memory T cell subsets from cancer patients recognize and reject xenotransplanted autologous tumors

Anti-cancer immune cells are found in cancer patients, but these cells fail to reject tumors; a failure that may be due to a series of different immune cell priming or suppressing mechanisms. Now Viktor Umanksy and colleagues from the German Cancer Research Center, provide a method to enable the specific activation and tumor infiltration of these cells from cancer patients themselves. The authors show that patients' bone marrow is enriched for subsets of anti-tumor–specific T cells.

These cells were isolated from bone marrow and stimulated in cell culture to become effective killer cells. Mice that had been previously implanted with tumors were injected with these activated cells. In contrast to cells that were not anti-tumor–specific, the cell-culture activated T cells were now very effective at infiltrating tumor transplants and in reducing tumor size.

These results present a potential immunotherapy strategy for cancer treatment with appropriately reactivated anti-tumor–specific T cell subsets that already exist in patients' own body.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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