The immune system is a key component in the control of different kinds of cancers by its action in removing cancerous cells that have avoided regular control mechanisms at the cellular level. However, the immune system experiences temporary periods of immunodepression (e.g., during infection, stress, fatigue) when the rate of cancerous cell accumulation can increase, and some of these cells can remain undetectable to the immune system when it is once again functioning normally.
Our aim here is to discover at what point these periods of immunodepression significantly increase the occurrence of these undetectable cells in order to understand which immunodepression factors should be treated to increase the survival probability of the affected organism.
Picture: Metastatic myeloid leukemia in the liver. The metastatic cancer cells (small blue cells) are invading and replacing normal liver cells.