News • T-cell study

Breakthrough in boosting the immune system against cancer and infections

An international research team led by Université de Montréal medical professor Christopher Rudd, director of research in immunology and cell therapy at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, has identified a key new mechanism that regulates the ability of T-cells of the immune system to react against foreign antigens and cancer.

T-cells orchestrate the response of the immune system. The study found out how a on the surface of T-cells mediates adhesion to other cells such as cancer cells by engaging a novel intracellular pathway. Manipulating the pathway might prove to be a new therapeutic strategy.
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T-cells orchestrate the response of the immune system. This work  outlines how a receptor termed LFA-1 on the surface of T-cells mediates  adhesion to other cells such as cancer cells. The work, published in  Nature Communications, shows that LFA-1 mediates adhesion or de-adhesion  by engaging a novel intracellular pathway in T-cells. International  work over the past decade has underscored the importance of the  manipulation of the immune system to combat cancers and infections.  Manipulation of the new pathway outlined by Rudd and his co-researchers  represents a new targeting strategy to promote immune-cell rejection of  cancer.

"With this work," said Rudd, "we have found a new way to alter the  overall immune response. We now have new tools to increase immune  response against cancer and infections. The discovery could prove to be a  major asset in the fight against several pathologies via the targeting  of a single immune cell component."

"It is clear that Dr. Rudd's discovery represents a breakthrough in  our ability to understand the immune system and to use it in the fight  against cancer and infections," added Denis-Claude Roy, director of  research at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. "This new mechanism allows us  to identify the weaknesses of our present immunological approaches and  to develop new weapons that are even more effective."

Source: Universite de Montreal


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