Our immune system is able to recognize and attack cancer. In fact, many cancers are recognized and eliminated before they become large enough to pose a problem. One thing that slows down the attack is the tangled and dense network of cable-like fibers surrounding cancer cells in tumors. It is believed that some immune cells become exhausted by the effort of getting to the cancer cells and are unable to do their job.
New research from University of Minnesota researchers shows that immune cell migration can be changed by changing genes involved in cell movement. The cells can also be influenced by drugs, including those used to treat cancer. Making the cells better at climbing over the tumor network can make them better at killing cancer!
The research has implications for the design of cancer treatment for many different kinds of cancer.