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T cell tumor immunity
T lymphocytes resemble the conductors of the immune system. Many immunologists are convinced that they play a decisive role in future therapies of malignant tumours.
As basis for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies we investigate spontaneous T cell responses in tumour patients and their influences on tumour progression: Does the immune system recognize tumours? Why do some patients develop strong anti-tumour T cell responses while others don`t? Can the human immune system control tumours? How do T cells reject tumours? How can we exploit T cell responses for the treatment of patients?
We use a broad variety of methods, including functional and phenotypic T cell analyses and gene- and proteome arrays in combination with clinical features and preclinical experimental mouse models. As part of the National Center of Tumour Diseases (NCT) our approach is based on strong interdisciplinary cooperations with our partners within the DKFZ and the clinical departments of the University Hospital of Heidelberg. In this context we have developed therapeutic strategies that are being evaluated in the frame of clinical studies.