Research has recently discovered that some cancer cells avoid immune system destruction by hiding inside other cancer cells, an discovery published in a magazine that can explain why some cancers may be more resistant than others.
We know that many cancers can suddenly reappear and cause a relapse in a few years, which is why doctors prefer to talk about "remission" rather than "treatment." For many years, researchers have tried to understand how some cancers are not detected by the immune system and thus avoid destruction.
Previous works have already identified some of these techniques, such as hiding in fatty tissue or sleeping during chemotherapy. A recent interesting study reveals another of these tricks, which is no less subtle.
Dr. Jaron Karmy and his graduate student at Tel Aviv University made this discovery, exploring which T cells of the immune system could be the most powerful in destroying cancers. For this work, they focused on melanoma and breast cancer. Soon they realized that these cells, which are usually designed to destroy tumors, were ineffective in mice.
Researching these interactions in real time under a microscope, researchers observed a previously undetected phenomenon; in fact, cancer cells that proved to have avoided T-cell attacks contained other cancer cells; the first cells could be destroyed by the immune system, but not the second cells under them.
"," said Dr. Karmy. These cells could have remained hidden "for weeks or months," and then appeared from their hideout when the T-cells disappeared.
The researchers then examined the human cells of breast cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma, and found the same phenomenon, but blood cancer and glioblastoma appear to be intact.
So the next step will be to confirm the results on their own, and then find a way to defeat this trick. Researchers have already made unsuccessful attempts. By blocking the genes involved in this protective mechanism, they have unfortunately also blocked the ability of T-cells to attack tumors.