Previous Page  6 / 24 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 6 / 24 Next Page
Page Background

The Cancer


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.

Dendritic cell

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.

The Immune



Princess Margaret Cancer Centre