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Investigating a type of immune system cell called Tregs and their role in the tumour mass

  • Researcher: Professor Ton Schumacher
  • Institution: The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Award Amount: £200,000 for 3 years from April 2014
  • Cancer Type: Skin Cancer
Investigating a type of immune system cell called Tregs and their role in the tumour mass
A special kind of immune system cell, called intratumoral regulatory T cells (Tregs), is often found in a tumour mass. In some cancer types, where these Tregs are found, they are associated with a poorer clinical outcome for patients. This is because Tregs are able to suppress the immune system to stop it attacking the tumour. It is therefore assumed that interfering with these cells could make the tumours more sensitive to cancer treatments, and mean a more successful outcome for the patient. There is still much unknown about Tregs however and their role and influence inside the tumour. It is important to better understand Tregs so scientists can then predict how they may react and the impact this may have, when the tumours are treated with cancer therapies. This is therefore the focus of Professor Ton Schumacher’s Worldwide Cancer Research grant. In order to carry out the work he will be using melanoma skin cancer samples from patients, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
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