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J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Aug;133(8):1929-32. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.90.

Clinical Implications of CD8+ T-cell infiltration in frequent and rare cancers.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Hôpital de Beaumont, Lausanne University Hospital Center, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Recent studies of cancer patients revealed high diversity in oncogenic mechanisms, leading to increased treatment individualization for subgroups of patients with frequent cancers. A similar development may not be possible for patients with rare cancers, such as Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Finding shared disease mechanisms may open new options to understanding and treating such tumors. Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells are frequently associated with favorable clinical outcome in a remarkably large spectrum of cancers. In this issue, Afanasiev et al. suggest a mechanism that may hinder the tumor homing of CD8+ T cells in MCC patients. It is possible that therapeutic mobilization of anti-cancer T cells may be useful in patients who share this specific immune biological feature.

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