Home science Fighting aggressive melanoma with killer cells – a healing practice

Fighting aggressive melanoma with killer cells – a healing practice

Fighting aggressive melanoma with killer cells – a healing practice

Immunotherapy against black skin cancer

Malignant melanoma, often referred to as black skin cancer, is the most serious type of skin cancer. Treatment of the advanced stage is a challenge for medical professionals, however, the survival rate of those infected has improved significantly over the past decade. This is mainly due to advances in immunotherapy.

However, according to a working group at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, only about 40 percent of patients with malignant melanoma respond to immunotherapy. The team identified biomarkers that can be used to predict whether immunotherapy will work on a person. The results of the research were recently published in the journal.cancer research” Foot.

Biomarkers to predict treatment success

For the first time, the research group examined the immune system’s natural killer cells for their role in immune therapies against skin cancer. The team was able to identify a number of biomarkers that can be used to predict how well immunotherapy will work in a person. According to the researchers, NK cells (natural killer cells) have not yet been considered in the development of immunotherapies for melanoma. Participation can have a critical advantage in the chances of successful treatment.

What do natural killer cells do?

As the working group explains in a press release about the research findings, natural killer cells have cytotoxic properties and can kill diseased cells. Natural killer cells have an advantage over T cells of the immune system in that they do not have to first be stimulated specifically for an antigen.

This makes natural killer cells a promising tool in treating solid tumors. According to the researchers, there is currently no treatment in which natural killer cells are specifically taken into account. Its use is already being tested in some preclinical studies.

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Disadvantages of currently available immunotherapies

The research team cautions that currently available immunotherapies are expensive and have significant side effects. The response rate is relatively low at less than 40 percent. In the immunotherapy used, cytotoxic T cells in particular are activated against the tumor.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Sabrina Capello.

Improving future immunotherapies

Professor Dr. adds. Ivan Bojesky of the study team. On the other hand, the probes can be used to predict the response to T-cell-based immunotherapies already used in the clinic. On the other hand, the findings could aid the development and improvement of natural killer cell-based therapies in the future, the professor explains. According to the working group, the research findings form the basis for personalized cancer treatment in the future. (FP)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, clinical guidelines, and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.


Diploma Editor (FH) Volker Plasic


  • Sabrina Cappello, Hsu-Min Sung, Christian Ickes, et al: Predicting the protein response in natural killer-fatal melanoma cells to predict response to immune therapies; In: Cancer Research, 2021, doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-0164. , cancerres.aacrjournals.org
  • University Medicine Göttingen: Killer Cells Against Skin Cancer (published date: 28/01/2022), umg.eu

important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.


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