Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Cells Are Protected By Our Own Immune System

Date:
August 10, 2009
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
During the very first few days of development of a cancer, our immune system recognizes cancer cells not as abnormal cells requiring eradication but as cells of the body that need to be protected, new research reveals.

During the very first few days of development of a cancer, our immune system recognizes cancer cells not as abnormal cells requiring eradication but as cells of the body that need to be protected. This result was obtained by the team led by David Klatzmann at the Laboratoire "Immunologie - Immunopathologies - Immunothérapies" (UPMC / CNRS / INSERM). It could enable major advances in the treatment of cancer.

Related Articles


Since the beginning of the 20th century, scientists have postulated the existence of the "immunosurveillance" of cancer, by which the immune system recognizes cancer cells(1) as being abnormal as soon as they are produced by the body, and then eradicates them. It is only when these cells escape from the immune response that a cancer develops. However, the team led by David Klatzmann, Professor at UPMC, has just revealed that this concept is inexact: the "immunosurveillance" of cancers does exist, but in fact it protects tumor cells when they appear, in the same way as any other normal cells in the body.

When an immune response is induced by the body, two types of lymphocytes (specialized immune system cells) are particularly closely involved: regulatory T-cells and effector T-cells. The former recognize components arising from the body itself and protect tissues from attack using the immune system. By contrast, effector T-cells specifically recognize foreign components and their function is to destroy them.

Most studies focused on interactions between cancer cells and the immune system are performed once cancer development is already well-advanced, when the tumor mass is already organized and detectable. The researchers in the Laboratoire "Immunologie - Immunopathologies - Immunothérapies" (UPMC / CNRS / INSERM) focused on these interactions, but during the very first few days after the appearance of tumor cells. Using animal models, they showed that appearance of the very first cancer cells triggered an immediate response by regulatory T-cells which migrated rapidly towards the tumor(2). They recognized molecules on the cancer cells that were also expressed by normal tissues in the body.

These regulatory T-cells then blocked the action of effector T-cells, thus preventing them from attacking and destroying the cancer cells. Activated at all times in order to protect healthy tissues, regulatory T-cells are mobilized much more rapidly and strongly than effector T-cells, which are resting before the tumor appears. The scientists also showed that if regulatory T-cells were absent from this first encounter between the immune system and tumor cells, effector responses of the immune system indeed developed and enabled eradication of the tumor.

Regulatory T-cells are thus the first to recognize a tumor and facilitate its development by preventing its eradication by effector T-cells. This suggests that the control of regulatory T-cells should be an essential component in the development of future therapies for cancer. This discovery also opens the way to other therapeutic opportunities, such as preventive anti-tumor vaccination.

(1) A cancer (or tumor) cell is a normal cell in the body that has undergone changes, such as uncontrolled proliferation, the invasion of adjacent tissues, the colonization of distal organs, or genetic instability, etc.

(2) Generically speaking, the term "tumor" designates an abnormal proliferation of cells. When malignant, this takes the name "cancer".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Guillaume Darrasse-Jeze, Anne-Sophie Bergot, Aurelie Durgeau, Fabienne Billiard, Benoit L. Salomon, Jose L. Cohen, Bertrand Bellier, Katrina Podsypanina and David Klatzmann. Tumor emergence is sensed by self-specific CD44hi memory Tregs that create a dominant tolerogenic environment for tumors in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, August 3, 2009

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Cancer Cells Are Protected By Our Own Immune System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091437.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2009, August 10). Cancer Cells Are Protected By Our Own Immune System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091437.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Cancer Cells Are Protected By Our Own Immune System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091437.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins