Research into basic workings of immune system points to way of improving therapies for cancer

In people with chronic infections or cancer, disease-fighting T cells tend to behave like an overworked militia – wheezing, ill-prepared, tentative – in a state of “exhaustion” that allows disease to persist. In a new paper, researchers have found that in mice with chronic viral infection, exhausted T cells are controlled by a fundamentally different set of molecular circuits than T cells effectively battling infections or cancer — a finding that suggests a way to increase the staying power of …

In people with chronic infections or cancer, disease-fighting T cells tend to behave like an overworked militia – wheezing, ill-prepared, tentative – in a state of “exhaustion” that allows disease to persist. In a new paper, researchers have found that in mice with chronic viral infection, exhausted T cells are controlled by a fundamentally different set of molecular circuits than T cells effectively battling infections or cancer — a finding that suggests a way to increase the staying power of …