NIH Director’s Blog Describes MIT Study of T Cell Exhaustion and Body’s Cancer-Fighting Abilities; Jacks-Led Team Explored Cancer Vaccines That Can “Awaken” T Cells and Re-Invigorate Their Cancer-Fighting Capabilities

In his Director’s Blog posted on November 12, 2021, NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, highlights how MIT Professor Tyler Jacks (more), PhD, Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and MIT research scientist Dr. Megan Burger’s work, with colleagues, exploring T cell exhaustion led to the creation of a “strategy for developing cancer vaccines that can “awaken” T cells and reinvigorate the body’s natural cancer-fighting abilities.” Dr. Collins writes that “the researchers hope to learn if this approach to cancer vaccines might work even better when used in combination with immunotherapy drugs, which unleash the immune system against cancer in other ways.” Below is the text of the blog from Dr. Collins. He describes a recent publication by Burger and Jacks et al. in the September 16, 2021 issue of Cell. The article is titledAntigen Dominance Hierarchies Shape TCF1+ Progenitor CD8 T Cell Phenotypes in Tumors.”
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