Discovery of CTLA-4 in dendritic cells opens new possibilities to fight cancer
T cells are the ‘foot soldiers’ that fight cancer inside the body. Cancer cells can fight the foot soldiers back by pushing a brake on the T cells that will turn them off. This ‘brake’ is a molecule on the surface of T cells called CTLA-4. Until now, most scientists agreed that CTLA-4 was only present on T cells and other cells of the same lineage. But new research suggests that CTLA-4 is also produced and secreted by dendritic cells, which are the ‘generals’ of the T cells in the battle against cancer.