MDLinx: New blood test measuring natural killer cell activity may help predict which patients are at risk for colorectal cancer

Media Coverage Written by Liz Meszaros, MDLinx
San Diego, California, United States

Measuring natural killer cell activity (NKA) with a simple new blood test may help identify patients at risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), according to research presented here at Digestive Disease Week 2016.

“Natural killer cells are actually the first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, tumor cells, that are swimming around in your body. Natural killer cells are the first ones to come and attack, who see that these cells are foreign in the body, and start attacking. As they attack these foreign cells, they also call in the adaptive immune system, such as T cells, to come and help them kill foreign cells,” explained Katia Betito, PhD, vice president, scientific affairs, ATGen Canada, Inc. “There is a large body of data—decades old—to show that natural killer cell activity is low in a number of disease states, such as cancer.”

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