An Immunological Approach to Remedying Cancer

Windsor K Tien


Cancer often thrives and evades our immune system, bypassing T lymphocyte mediated death. The immune escape mechanism of cancers often involves suppression and antigen blocking systems. A recent discovery of the PD-1/PDL-1 pathway has aided in combination therapy in response to certain cancers. This specific pathway acts as a regulator for T-cell survival and reduces the efficacy of T-cell mediated death towards cancerous tumors. In contrast, an approach towards downregulating this pathway can yield an increased T-cell response. To further increase the amount of T-cells we are able to upregulate and use, we can look upstream and somehow modify the immune process, starting with recognition and proliferation. Dendritic cells are often the look to this due to their role in antigen detection and is a promising route in the creation of “vaccinations” against cancer. Though this field is fairly new in regards to its application to the ever growing diseases that is cancer, there is room for discovery in the detection and response area between the host immune system and cancers.   

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