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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


cytotoxic T lymphocyte  listen  (SY-toh-TOK-sik ... LIM-foh-site)

  A type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic T lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic T cell and killer T cell.