To improve immunotherapy, more must be learned about how T cells target and destroy cancer cells. To that end, Dr. Tamzalit is investigating “directional secretion”―where T cells release their cancer-killing molecules―to aid our understanding of their activity and eventually enhance their anti-tumor activity. She’s using T cells that lack centrosomes, which help orient T cells and provide directional information. While the lack of a functional centrosome didn’t disrupt early signaling and allowed T cells to recognize cancer cells, the T cells did secrete fewer tumor-killing toxins and were worse at eliminating cancer cells. Therefore, since T cells’ directional sense does impact their ability to eliminate tumors, future immunotherapy strategies that address this could potentially improve patient outcomes.
I am very grateful to the Cancer Research Institute for funding my research. As it is necessary to learn more about how immune cells destroy cancerous cells, this funding allows me to study in more details the mechanisms implicated in this phenomenon. I hope that my research will help in improving and expanding these treatments.
Projects and Grants
The role of the centrosome in cytotoxic T cell function
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Leukemia, Lymphoma | 2015 | Morgan Huse, Ph.D.
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