Video of live mouse T-cells killing tumor cells goes viral

The relationship between immune system and cancer is elaborated and dynamic. Immunotherapy has been gaining visibility in recent years and even more in the last  months  thanks to the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine that went to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.

"T-cells killing cancer cells" video on social media platform reddit with more than 2 million views. Watch video here:

By stimulating the inherent ability of our immune system to attack tumor cells last year’s Nobel Laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy. Immunotherapy involves re-engineering T-cells so that they can recognize and kill cancer cells. This type of therapy has shown promising preliminary results in fighting lymphoma.

The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer!

By using an entirely new label-free technique, the EPFL spin-off company Nanolive SA, produced this video of live mouse T-cells killing mouse tumor cells that has gone viral in the last hours on social media with over 2Mio views on reddit (, hundreds of thousand on LinkedIn (, and Instagram (

About the experiment: Cells were imaged for over 6 hours at a frequency of 1 image every 20 seconds.

Specifically, the cancer cell line is MC38-OVA, a transduced colon cancer cell line that expresses the ovalbumin (OVA) model antigen.

The T-cells, coming from OT-I mice, carry a transgenic T-cell receptor responsive to OVA residues 257-264 (SIINFEKL peptide) in the context of the MHC I H2kb.

In this experiment, the T-cells that were activated and that are now called “effectors”, are incubated with MC38-OVA cancer cells. Upon recognition of their target (the OVA residues on the MHC I H2kB of the cancer cells), T-cells induce the killing of the cancer cells.


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