Washington University in St. Louis study finds DNA sequencing helps identify cancer cells for immune system attack
DNA sequences from tumor cells can be used to direct the immune system to attack cancer, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The research, in mice, appears online Feb. 8 in Nature. The immune system relies on an intricate network of alarm bells, targets and safety brakes to determine when and what to attack. The new results suggest that scientists may now be able to combine DNA sequencing data with their knowledge of the triggers and targets that set off immune alarms to more precisely develop vaccines and other immunotherapies for cancer.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.