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T-cells could be made into better cancer killers by increasing their protein production

T-cells could be made into better cancer killers by increasing their protein production

IMAGE: Dr. Jessica Thaxton and her team developed a technique to monitor protein production in T cells and will use the data to explore new ways to make T cells more… view more 

Credit: MUSC HCC

A team of scientists from Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has developed a novel flow cytometry technique that can, for the first-time, quantify protein production in T-cells. T cells are immune cells that surveil the body and can effectively target and kill cancer cells. However, when T cells are in the vicinity of a tumor, cancer cells sap their energy, leading to a decrease in their protein production. This change leads to T cells losing their tumor-killing ability.

The new technique, developed by the MUSC team, can be used to monitor protein production in T cells and understand how it becomes depressed in the tumor microenvironment. Interventions could then be developed to restore T cells’ protein production and ability to control tumor growth. The team, led by Jessica E. Thaxton, Ph.D., recently reported its findings in a priority brief in Cancer Immunology Research. Thaxton is an assistant professor in the departments of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine and

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Article originally posted at

www.eurekalert.org

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