GUNILLA ELAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GUNILLA ELAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NK cells attacking cancer cells. Computer artwork of human Natural Killer (NK) cells (small, round) attacking cancer cells (large, round). NK cells are large granular lymphocyte (LGL) white blood cells. As part of the body's immune response mechanism, NK cells have the ability to destroy virus-infected cells and tumour cells. On contact with the surface of a tumour cell, an NK cell recognises certain proteins called antigens, which activate its cell-killing mechanism. The NK cell then binds to and destroys the cancer cell using toxic chemicals.
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