Aussies discover how cancer tricks immune system

A team of Australian scientists believe they have discovered how cancer cells hoodwink the body's immune system into thinking they are harmless.

This could lead to new treatments for aggressive advanced cancer and other diseases, says lead investigator Professor Mark Smyth.

The crux of the discovery is an improved understanding of how protective white blood cells, known as natural killer cells, discriminate between harmless cells and disease.

"It tells us something that we did not know before. It also has implications for viruses," says Prof Smyth, of the QIMR Berghofer