Lymphoma is a wide term for various forms of cancer in the lymphatic system. This type of cancer is due to mutated lymphocytes, which results in the swelling of lymph nodes. There are two types of lymphocytes; B cells and T cells. Though lymphocytes are the white blood cells responsible for causing Lymphoma, they are capable of curing Lymphoma too. The possibility of this is dependent on the type of lymphoma, the stage and the cells effected. In a healthy patient, B cells are responsible for producing antibodies, and remembers the enemy. Somehow, these cells become mutated, multiplying out of control, and living longer than their life expectancy. This causes a buildup of B cells, or a cancerous clog of the lymph nodes. These cancerous cells pass through the immune systems regular checkpoints done by T cells. Immunotherapy uses immune checkpoint inhibitors to block the cancerous cells from tricking the T cells. By stopping the cancerous B cells from linking with the T cell’s checkpoints, the T cell recognizes the cells are not friends, but enemies. The T cell then carries out its job of injecting infected cells with an enzyme that enforces programmed cell death.


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  1. Katelyn explored two objectives for her STEAM project: the function of white blood cells (WBCs) and the role of the lymphatic system in the immune response. Katelyn’s comic strip provides an overview of the five types of WBCs–neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes–and then illustrates the role that T cells play in immunotherapy, which is a treatment for lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

    Lymphoma is cancer that results from mutated lymphocytes. There are two types of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells. One type of lymphoma is called B cell lymphoma, in which B cells, which are normally responsible for producing antibodies, mutate and live beyond their normal lifespan. This results in a buildup of B cells which clog the lymph nodes (swelling of the nodes is a common symptom of lymphoma). The mutated B cells are able to evade the T cell lymphocytes which typically function as “checkpoints” and attack and kill unfriendly cells, and the cancer worsens.

    Immunotherapy is one treatment for B cell lymphoma. During immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies (synthetic antibodies that bind to a specific target on the B cells) are injected into the patient; they bind to the cancerous B cells, and T cells are then able to recognize they should attack and kill the cancerous B cells which were previously slipping through their checkpoints. In this way the body’s immune system itself is used to fight B cell lymphoma.


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