New insights into the body’s own defense against tumor cells

11. March 2022

240,000 people die of cancer in Germany every year. It is therefore of great importance to investigate the body’s own defense strategies against cancer cells in order to enable new therapies. Our international research team from Homburg, Oxford, Siena and Toulouse as part of the ERC synergy project “ATTACK” (further information at and at uses state-of-the-art methods of cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, human immunology and high-resolution microscopy.and has now been able to observe a mechanism by which so-called cytotoxic T lymphocytes can attack malignant tumor cells in two different ways. One of them could be the basis for research into novel therapies.

The work has been published in the journal Nature Communications:

Chang HF, Schirra C, Ninov M, Hahn U, Ravichandran K, Krause E, Becherer U, Bálint Š, Harkiolaki M, Urlaub H, Valitutti S, Baldari CT, Dustin ML, Jahn R, Rettig J. Identification of distinct cytotoxic gran-ules as the origin of supramolecular attack particles in T lymphocytes.Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 24;13(1):1029. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28596-y.


Learn more in the UdS press release, March 11, 2022 (in German language)