Lethal Encounter: Empowering the Immune System to Fight Cancer

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Submitted by Sudha Kumari and Yiran Zheng in the Irvine Laboratory at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

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The image shows multiple T cells (small round cells) loaded with nanoparticles (yellow) attacking melanoma tumor cells (green). One potent way of suppressing cancer is by supporting the immune system. This can be achieved by empowering immune cells using nanoparticles carrying drugs that boost their function- an approach also termed as cancer immunotherapy.

The image indicates robustness of immunosurveillance, where fewer T cells are able to find the tumor cells and form conjugates- the first and key step towards a killing event. This image is a larger view showing many T cell-tumor cell conjugate formation events occurring simultaneously.