Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes
Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments.
The study also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types.
Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting patient survival and reveal significant insights into how tumours behave in common cancers.
Immune cells normally help the body stay healthy by warding off pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. However, sometimes immune cells can wrongly identify cancer tissue as healthy tissue, aiding the spread of tumours.
Researchers therefore focused on the role of immune cells in endometrium – the womb lining – and breast cancers.
Until now, little was known about how these cells behave in human cancer, making them difficult to spot and target.