Skin Memory T-cells Confer Long-term Immunity To Melanoma

Source: Relia Wire, April 2017

Unique immune cells, known as resident memory T cells, do an excellent job of preventing melanoma, researchers at Dartmouth University report in a newly published study.

Their finding stems from an investigation of why patients with melanoma who develop the autoimmune disease called vitiligo, have such good prognosis. Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition against normal healthy melanocytes, which causes the loss of skin pigmentation in blotches.

Using mouse models of melanoma and vitiligo, the research team found that resident memory T cells permanently reside in vitiligo-affected skin, where they kill melanoma cells. Although resident memory T cells were previously known to prevent skin viral infection, it was not known that they could fight tumors.

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