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Avoiding burnout of white blood cells (Zippelius Lab)


The immune system (T cell) attacks a human tumor cell. (Image: M. Oeggerli (Micronaut 2019), Marcel Philipp Trefny, and Prof. Alfred Zippelius, Translational Oncology, University Hospital Basel, supported by Pathology University Hospital Basel, and C-CINA, Biozentrum, University of Basel)

A tough battle requires endurance. This is also true for white blood cells as they tackle cancer – or more specifically for T lymphocytes or T cells, a group of white blood cells involved in the immune system’s fight against cancer cells. However, T cells can become exhausted during this fight. Researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel recently identified a gene that seems to contribute to this exhaustion. The findings of their research project, which was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) News

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