The outcome of a malignant disease depends on the efficacy of the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Key steps in this process, for example the generation of a proper Ca2+ signal induced by recognition of a specific antigen, are regulated by various ion channel including voltage-gated Kv1.3 and Ca2+-activated KCa3.1 K+ channels, and the interplay between Orai and STIM to produce the Ca2+-release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) current required for T-cell proliferation and function. Understanding the immune cell subset-specific expression of ion channels along with their particular function in a given cell type, and the role of cancer tissue-dependent factors in the regulation of operation of these ion channels are emerging questions to be addressed in the fight against cancer disease. Answering these questions might lead to a better understanding of the immunosuppression phenomenon in cancer tissue and the development of drugs aimed at skewing the distribution of immune cell types towards killing of the tumour cells.
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