Tailored vaccines could soon be part of a new form of cancer treatment.
A group of scientists working at Washington University School of Medicine observed how the body's immune system changes as a tumour grows and published its findings in the scientific journal Nature.
The immune system initially sees cancers as a threat and tries to attack them, but the tumour stops the growth of certain cells making it much harder for antibodies and t-cells to target it.
In this new research, scientists recorded how a mutated form of the spectin beta-2 gene signalled the immune system to once again attack the tumour.
"The data suggest that, one day, we might be able to use the genetic information in patients' tumours to create better, more personalised immunotherapies," said professor Christian Ottensmeier, a Cancer Research UK immunotherapy expert.
The charity states the immune system can be affected by existing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.