Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

T Cells, B Cells, DCs and Mast Cells and Their Interactions with Tumors

Program researchers are studying the basic biochemical and signaling pathways used by T cells and other immune effector cells in their cellular trafficking patterns, particularly in their response to tumors. Insights gained through this work will provide the building blocks, in often unforeseen ways, for the leading therapies of decades to come.

Structural Studies of T Cell Receptors, Co-receptors, MHC and their Ligands

T lymphocytes play a central role in the cell-mediated immune response. Researchers are studying the basic biochemical mechanisms governing T cell function, including the receptors and ligands involved in their activation and trafficking as well as their interactions with other effector and antigen-presenting cells of the immune system. By better understanding these signaling pathways, researchers hope to identify new opportunities for inducing tumor-specific, cytotoxic activity. More

T Cell Recognition and Function

T cells differ from classical alpha/beta T cells in a number of important ways. In addition to occupying different anatomical sites in the body such as the skin and the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract, T cells use a structurally distinct T cell receptor to recognize antigens and are believed to respond to different types of antigenic stimuli than classical T cells. To date, these cells have not been as well studied as classical T cells but there is little doubt that they carry out critical immune functions and may be involved in tumor immunity. More

Biochemical Basis for T Lymphocyte Tolerance

Program researchers are working to understand the mechanisms used by tumor cells to escape immune surveillance and in turn to devise novel strategies for blocking these mechanisms and triggering an effective immune response. More

Role of B Cells in Tumor Biology

The main function of B cells is to produce antibodies. Once these effector molecules bind to their specific antigenic targets, they work either to neutralize function of these targets or mark them for destruction by other immune cells. By better understanding subclasses of B cells and the molecular mechanism for their actions, researchers hope to advance current antibody-mediated therapies. More

Biochemical Basis for B Lymphoma Genesis in Organ Transplant Recipients

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) is a serious, and often fatal, complication of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation that can manifest as frank B cell lymphomas. Program researchers are exploring the origins of this condition. More

Role of Mast Cells in Tumor Biology

Emerging research suggests that mast cells contribute to the progression of certain cancers. Program researchers are pursuing a number of studies to further investigate this connection. More

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