Scientists have discovered new ‘soldiers’ of the immune system that help resist cancer, providing precise instructions to ‘unconventional’ T cells, and offer new hopes for cure. The news comes from the Humanitas that has conducted an important study that we are now going to discover in detail.

In our body there are new ‘soldiers’ of the immune system that help us fight cancer by playing a very important role in our defences, especially against some types of sarcomas and colorectal cancers. It is a special type of white blood cells called ‘neutrophils’ which, from within the tumours, provide information to T cells, but not to any T cells, but to those known as ‘unconventional’. Such as? “Through a very complex dialogue made up of” words “of the immune system: cytokines”, explain the Italian scientists responsible for this research.

But what are T cells? As S├ębastien Jaillon, Humanitas researcher in neutrophil biology, immunity and immunopathology explains, “T cells are the directors of the immunological orchestra,” those that are usually associated with resistance against tumours are CD4 and CD8. In the specific case of ‘soldiers’ against cancer, neutrophils, however the dialogue is not with these T cells, but with others, called ‘double negatives’. Of these, experts identified 12 clusters in tumours.

The possibility of identifying these neutrophils that dialogue with negative double cells allows, the experts explain, to have a better prognosis because it opens up new avenues for the use of more specific and effective immunotherapy. This means finding new treatments more suitable and leading to better results based on people’s tumours.