Study reveals surprising power of CD4+ T cells against melanoma

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Researchers have revealed unprecedented insights into CD4+ T cells, a type of immune cell, which show promise for immunotherapies against melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer

In the study led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) and published in Science Immunology, the researchers found that CD4+ T cells, traditionally called ‘helper T cells’ for their role in aiding the activation of other immune cells, are remarkably effective in controlling melanoma.

University of Melbourne’s Dr Emma Bawden, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Doherty Institute and lead author of the study, said this discovery challenges the conventional understanding of the role of CD4+ T cells in cancer immunity.

Our in-depth study, using animal models, unraveled the complex biology of CD4+ T cells in melanoma and how they control cancer,” explained Dr Bawden.

Using microscopic live imaging, we visualized the activities and interactions of CD4+ T cells with other cell types in the tumor microenvironment. Our findings challenge previous assumptions by showing that CD4+ T cells can combat tumors through a multitude of pathways.”

The detailed analysis revealed the genetic makeup, developmental states and functions of CD4+ T cells in melanoma, showing the potential of harnessing CD4+ T cells for future therapies against the skin cancer.

University of Melbourne Professor Thomas Gebhardt, Senior Research Fellow at the Doherty Institute and senior author of the study, said that understanding CD4+ T cell responses could pave the way for more effective immunotherapies against melanoma.

While CD4+ T cells are often viewed as accessory cells regulating the function of other immune cells, our work shows they can work effectively on their own. Therefore, harnessing their potential therapeutically holds great promise for the development and improvement of current cancer immunotherapies.

Thomas Gebhardt, Professor, University of Melbourne

More than 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma every year, a rare but highly aggressive form of skin cancer.

Journal reference:

Bawden, E., et al. (2024) CD4+ T cell immunity against cutaneous melanoma encompasses multifaceted responses. Science Immunology.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
MONET: New AI tool enhances medical imaging with deep learning and text analysis