New cancer research centers on priming immune system.
|New cancer research centers on priming immune system.||Darrell Miller||12/19/05|
December 19, 2005 02:01 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: New cancer research centers on priming immune system.
New cancer research centers on priming immune system
A team from the National Cancer Institute near Washington D.C. may have found an effective cancer treatment— supercharging the patient’s own immune system. Promising results have come from initial treatments on “sentry” cells, the cells that make the body aware of foreign invaders and initiate massive attacks on foreign invading cells and toxins. Researchers were able to “prime” these dendritic cells for attack by adding proteins from various cancers and viruses to the dendritic cells.
Researchers found that the modified dendritic cells responded far better to invading cells they were primed for. In fact, mice given these modified cells produced more than six times the number of T cells (immune cells). The success of this study could open up more options in cancer and HIV research. Beefing up the immune system could be more effective than current treatments.
Studies on humans are scheduled to start soon. Some researchers are worried about using treatments like this on HIV however, because it and other immune ailments (rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.) can turn the immune system against the body itself. Giving more power to the immune system could make autoimmune symptoms worse instead of better.