The immune system is made up of a variety of cells and organs that normally protect the body from viruses. Important components of the immune system are blood cells known as T-cells.
T-cells are a type of white blood cells (known as lymphocytes), which have the capacity to recognise and destroy abnormal cells or any cells infected by the virus.
When the body has a new virus or disease, it creates T-cells to fight that specific virus or disease. The body then keeps some in reserve, so that when they come across that virus again, the body can recognise it and attack it immediately.
However, unlike a virus, cancer is our own tissue growing out of control. T-cells have trouble recognising cancer cells as abnormal.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is an innovative approach which involves re-programming T-cells so that they recognise and kill cancer cells.
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