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T Cell Generals Lead a Cancer-Killing Army


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.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.