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“Arms Race” Between Cancer and Immune System Revealed

By May 17, 2018No Comments

UBC and BC Cancer scientists have uncovered some of the tricks used by the deadliest ovarian cancer to escape the immune system, setting the stage for a better understanding of how and why patients respond to promising new immunotherapies.

The study, published May 10 in Cell, used advanced molecular measurements and computer algorithms to analyze how immune cells infiltrate tumours. They “zoomed in” to get a better look at the spaces between the immune and cancer cells to see the proteins present on their surfaces, and sequenced DNA to understand genetic changes that took place within cancer cells after interacting with immune cells.

Through those strategies, the scientists identified combinations of genetic changes that help high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) cells escape attack from a type of immune cell, called killer T-cells.