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Scientists have discovered a potential reason why melanoma doesn’t always respond to certain drugs.

For some advanced melanoma patients, immune checkpoint inhibitors — a kind of immunotherapy that pushes the immune system to attack tumors — can lead to long-term remission. But for many patients, the drugs don’t work. Now, scientists at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne studying a mouse model of melanoma have discovered that “bad immune cells” might be limiting how well the drugs work. Their findings were published this week in Science Translational Medicine.


“The immune system plays dichotomous roles in melanoma,” researcher Michele De Palma, one of the study’s authors, explained.

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