Think of your immune system as the hero in
an action-packed blockbuster. It exists to protect
your body from harmful invaders.
It is made up of two lines of defence: the
innate and the adaptive immune systems.
The innate and the adaptive immune systems
work together to protect us from germs and
cancer. The innate immune system is fast acting
and kick-starts the adaptive immune response;
however, the innate immune system does not
provide long-lasting protection. The second
line of defence, the adaptive immune system,
provides lifelong immunity; it “remembers”
germs or cancers so that it can protect your
body against similar attacks in the future.
If the immune system is the cancer warrior,
then T-cells are the key weapons in its arsenal.
They attack and destroy cells that are infected.
Each bears its own unique crest called the
T-cell receptor that has the ability to recognize
different parts of an enemy.
A specialized cell that initiates an immune
response and directs the immune response
against a certain kind of virus or cancer. It picks up
and processes pathogens or tumor cells, so that
T-cells can become activated to kill these targets.
A group of cells that
are rapidly alerted
after an infection to
start the immune
A group of highly specialized
cells, including T-cells, which
can eliminate or prevent a
viral or bacterial infection, or
fight against cancer cells.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre