NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,359 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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CTLA-4
A protein found on T cells (a type of immune cell) that helps keep the body’s immune responses in check. When CTLA-4 is bound to another protein called B7, it helps keep T cells from killing other cells, including cancer cells. Some anticancer drugs, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, are used to block CTLA-4. When this protein is blocked, the “brakes” on the immune system are released and the ability of T cells to kill cancer cells is increased.