Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have identified a new class of T cells, which they say behaves like stem cells do. According to an NIH press release, these T cells prolong the immune attack against cancer cells by continuously producing a supply of "killer T cells" while constantly regenerating themselves. In their study, published recently in Nature Medicine, the researchers say that these cells comprise 1 percent to 2 percent of T cells in most of the donor blood they studied. But because they are so powerful, the press release adds, they could be used in T-cell therapies and could, in theory, integrate with a person's immune system for a long period of time, or even permanently, to continually fight any tumor cells that may develop.
T Cell Generals Lead a Cancer-Killing Army
Sep 20, 2011