Group Nathalie Rufer
Cancer therapy with cytolytic T lymphocytes
T lymphocytes are specialized mediators of adaptive immunity that circulate in the body. They recognize and destroy any diseased cells which have been altered, e.g. by infection with a virus or by transformation into cancer cells. Although tumor-specific cytolytic T cells can be detected in patients suffering from cancer, these immune responses often fail to control or eliminate the disease. Therapeutic vaccines aim at inducing and boosting specific T cells mediated immunity to reduce tumor burden. Such approaches provide a unique opportunity to study T-cell priming and memory formation in humans. All projects described thereafter are aimed to improve the possibilities for using tumor-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes in anti-cancer therapy.