New cancer drugs wake up sleeping killer T cells

The frontline immune system fighters, often evaded by tumors, might now resume the attack

computational image, a ligand protein binds to precise spots

LOCK AND LOAD  In this computational image, a ligand protein binds to precise spots (yellow) on a T cell’s receptor protein PD-1, acting like a key in a lock. This activates PD-1 to send a signal that puts the T cell to sleep, making it oblivious to cancer. Such precise modeling may help researchers create drugs that disrupt the connection — awakening T cells and making cancer “visible.”

K. BARAKAT AND M. AHMED/RECEPTORS & CLINICAL INVESTIGATION 2015

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