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'Killer' immune cell 'boosts breast cancer survival chances'

Women are more likely to survive aggressive breast cancer if they have a certain type of "killer" immune cell near their tumour, a study has shown. Killer T-cells were shown destroy infected or damaged cells with toxic proteins, scientists said.

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Breast cancer survival 'raised by certain immune cells'

The chances of beating aggressive breast cancer were raised for women who had "killer" T-cells near their tumour, a study has found.

Specific T-cells around the tumour can boost a patient's chances of survival, scientists found. Credit: PA

The killer T-cells destroy cancerous cells by blasting them with toxic proteins and patients found to have them were 10% more likely to live for five years or more than a breast cancer sufferer without them.

The association was seen in women with non-hormone sensitive breast cancer and cancers marked by especially active HER2 genes.

Lead researcher Dr Raza Ali, a lecturer at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, explained: "This important insight could help doctors personalise a woman's treatment based on her immunological profile and also suggests new treatments should harness the immune system to fight cancer."

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