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Cancer cells send out 'drones' to battle immune system from afar

August 08, 2018 / University of Pennsylvania

Cancer cells are more than a lump of cells growing out of control; they participate in active combat with the immune system for their own survival. Being able to evade the immune system is a hallmark of cancer. Cancer cells release biological "drones" to assist in that fight small vesicles called exosomes circulating in the blood and armed with proteins called PD-L1 that cause T cells to tire before they have a chance to reach the tumor and do battle, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.