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Common cancers evade detection by silencing parts of immune system cells

from Health News Digest

Researchers say they have identified a set of genes that appear to predict which tumors can evade detection by the body's immune system, a step that may enable them to eventually target only the patients most likely to respond best to a new class of treatment. Immune therapy for ovarian, breast and colorectal cancer has so far had limited success, primarily because the immune system often can't destroy the cancer cells. In a report published online Feb. 16 in the journal Oncotarget, the research team says it has identified genes that have been repressed through so-called epigenetic changes, which help the cells to evade the immune system. The researchers were able to reverse these epigenetic changes with the use of an FDA-approved drug, forcing the cancer cells out of hiding and potentially making them better targets for the same immune therapy that in the past may have failed. more


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