When the immune system unleashes a response against a threat, it sends the T-cell to do its bidding.

The T-cells are a key part of the immune system’s arsenal, able to attack and kill cancer cells.

In fact, there are T-cells found in tumours that can kill cancer cells. The problem is that there are often not enough of them inside a tumour to get the job done.

That’s where adoptive T-cell therapy comes in – it’s a method of boosting the number of T-cells inside a patient. “We’re trying to engineer an immune response by taking cells from a patient and modifying them in such a way, so that they can fight the cancer more effectively,” says Dr. Marcus Butler of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

In this type of immunotherapy, T-cell samples are taken from patient’s tumour and laboratory methods are used to boost their overall numbers and their tumour-fighting abilities. They are then put back into the patient.

This type of immunotherapy has shown good results in patients treated at major cancer centres around the world. The complex technology and expertise needed to produce T-cells for clinical use can only be found in comprehensive cancer centres like The Princess Margaret.

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