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New target for cancer immunotherapy discovered

Written by Community Health Network on 5/27/2014 7:00:00 PM

Scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered how to shut down cells that block the body’s immune response to lymphoma and myeloma cancer treatments.

The cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are created with other blood cells in the bone marrow and interfere with the T cells that support our immune system.

"This is the first demonstration of a molecule on these cells that allows us to make an antibody, in this case a peptide, to bind to them and get rid of them," said Larry Kwak, MD, PhD, the developer of anti-cancer therapeutic vaccines to spark the immune system against tumors. "It's a brand new immunotherapy target."

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