Study suggests blocking immune T-cell regulator may help eliminate tumours

Source: Eurek Alert!, March 2020

Immune system T-cells are more able to destroy skin cancer cells when a T-cell regulator called SLAMF6 is missing, a new study in eLife shows.

Immunotherapies, which boost the immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells, have become an important type of cancer treatment, but they are only successful for about half of patients treated with them. The new study in mice suggests that immunotherapies that turn off SLAMF6 might add an option that could be used alone or in combination with other immunotherapies to treat cancer more effectively.

“There is a real need to find new targets for immunotherapies,” says lead author Emma Hajaj, an MD-PhD candidate at the Sharett Institute of Oncology at Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel. “We thought that SLAMF6, which is a receptor found on all T-cells, was a good candidate for immunotherapy, but more thorough research was needed to confirm this.”

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