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Deactivating pancreatic cancer’s protective coat of arms

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T cells are the immune system’s roving patrol cells and mobile response unit. If they can get close enough to a cancer cell and recognize how dangerous it is, the T cell can kill the cancer cell. In this study, researchers in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor Douglas Fearon’s lab found a coating on cancer cells that stops T cells from moving. The immobilized T cells cannot enter tumors and attack cancer cells, allowing the tumor to grow. In this video you will see how the coating is slathered around tumor cells, watch a dish of fast-moving T cells, and compare that to a dish immobilized by a component of the cancer cell’s protective coating.

The video and images were taken by a postdoc in the Fearon laboratory, ZhiKai Wang, and by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The T cell mobility videos were sped up around 720x.