PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Immunotherapy for cancer: scientist examining wells containing cell cultures of lymphocytes that have been doped with Interleukin-2 (IL-2) for possible contamination. IL-2 is released naturally by certain key cells of the immune system (T- lymphocytes) after they have been activated by foreign antigens - of cancer cells, for instance. IL-2 amplifies the proliferation of other cell types, including lymphokine-activated natural killer (LANAK) cells that attack cancer cells directly. In this technique, blood is removed, doped with IL-2 & cultured in vitro for 3-4 weeks to raise the population of LANAK cells. The product is then re-injected into the patient. Photographed at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, 1988/89.
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