Scientists have discovered how certain tumours are missed by the body's natural defences, according to research published this week.
The findings are based on the examinations of immune systems in healthy individuals.
The group, based at King's College London, believe their discoveries could lead to better treatments for cancers and tumours.
The research revealed that regulatory T-cells working as part of the immune system can react against the body. They can reverse the role of inflammatory cells when the body is under threat from infections such as tumours.
Leader of the research group, Leonie Tams, said: "Neutralising an inflammatory response in this scenario can cause the tumour to fall under the radar of the body's immune system and ‘trick’ it into believing that there is no problem."
The group hope to use this new knowledge to enhance their understanding of the relationship between the t-cells and the inflammatory response.
It may provide them with new treatments for tumours and also help treat chronic inflammation which can occur in rheumatoid arthritis.
The results have been published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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