Blood-vessel cells in cancerous growths in the body help stave off immune-based cancer treatments, Swedish researchers said Monday.
The research suggests that cells found in the blood vessels of malignant growths curb the body's own method of fighting cancer cells, Karolinska Institutet said in a press release.
"Understanding the interplay between tumor pericytes, malignant cells, and the immune system might help in designing more personalized and effective therapeutic approaches," said Guillem Genove, one of the researchers behind the study.
Tumors escape the treatment by suppressing the ability of killer T cells, often used in immunotherapy, to destroy cancer cells.
The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that a lower number of pericytes -- a cell that is part of the tumor blood vessels -- correlates to a higher presence of cells that suppress the body's cancer-fighting mechanism.
Cancer treatments that strengthen the body's own response to cancer have in recent years found success in repressing diagnoses such as malignant melanoma.