Boosting Killer Cells Might Improve Breast-Cancer Drug

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Breast Cancer Drug

Preliminary research suggests that a drug that targets a particular type of breast cancer might be more effective if patients are also given a substance made by the body that stimulates certain immune cells.

The laboratory and animal study suggests that the substance interleukin 21 (IL-21) might improve the effectiveness of the drug Herceptin. The findings suggest that this happens because the IL-21 boosts the cancer-killing activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells, which attack the tumor.

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