Tag Archive immune

A one-two punch against ovarian cancer

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Sarah Adams, MD, hopes to change this outcome. Adams cares for women with ovarian cancer and studies ways to treat them more effectively…

Multiple allergic reactions traced to single protein

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Previous studies traced reactions such as pain, itching and rashes at the injection sites of many drugs to part of the immune system known as mast cells. When specialized receptors on the outside of mast cells detect warning signals known as antibodies, they spring into action, releasing histamine and other substances that spark inflammation and draw other immune cells into the area. Those antibodies are produced by other immune cells in response to bacteria, viruses or other perceived threats…

Getting antibodies into shape to fight cancer

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The latest types of treatment for cancer are designed to switch on the immune system, allowing the patient’s own immune cells to attack and kill cancerous cells, when normally the immune cells would lie dormant. In a study, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the journal Cancer Cell, the Southampton team have found that a particular form of antibody, called IgG2B, is much more effective at stimulating cancer immunity than other types. Unlike other forms of antibody, IgG2B can work independently without needing help from other immune cells, making it more active and able to work in all tissues of the body. The team have also been able to engineer antibodies that will be locked into the particular shape (called a locked B structure) that is most active, making them much stronger immune stimulators than previous drugs…

Selenium compounds boost immune system to fight against cancer

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The immune system is designed to remove things not normally found in the body. Cells undergoing change, e.g…

How lymph nodes expand during disease

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The immune system defends the body from infections and can also spot and destroy cancer cells. Lymph nodes are at the heart of this response, but until now it has never been explained how they expand during disease. The researchers — at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute — found that when a type of immune cell, called dendritic cells, recognises a threat they make a molecule called CLEC-2 that tells the cells lining the lymph nodes to stretch out and expand to allow for an influx of disease fighting cells. It’s long been known that these same dendritic cells patrol the body searching for threats and call for reinforcements to tackle them…

Head injury causes immune system to attack brain, new study finds

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To date, there are no effective treatments to prevent or reverse the damage sustained after brain injury. The researchers were testing the theory that blows to the head cause brain damage, in part, because of the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, allowing the immune cells in the blood to come into contact with brain cells and destroy them. They hypothesized that mice missing a vital immune component would have less brain damage from trauma, and that a treatment which blocks a component of the immune system would prevent damage. …

‘Cyberwar’ against cancer gets a boost from intelligent nanocarriers

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In research published in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Prof. Ben-Jacob and researchers from Rice University and the University of Texas M.D…

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer

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“Recent research has found that cancer is already adept at using cyberwarfare against the immune system, and we studied the interplay between cancer and the immune system to see how we might turn the tables on cancer,” said Rice University’s Eshel Ben-Jacob, co-author of a new study this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ben-Jacob and colleagues at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, developed a computer program that modeled a specific channel of cell-to-cell communication involving exosomes. Exosomes are tiny packets of proteins, messenger RNA and other information-coding segments that both cancer and immune cells make and use to send information to other cells…

Vaccine ‘reprograms’ pancreatic cancers to respond to immunotherapy

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In their study described in the June 18 issue of Cancer Immunology Research, the Johns Hopkins team tested the vaccine in 39 people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer. The disease becomes resistant to standard chemotherapies and is particularly lethal, with fewer than 5 percent of patients surviving five years after their diagnosis. PDACs do not typically trigger an immune response against the cancer cells that comprise, but with the help of a vaccine developed by Johns Hopkins researcher Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., the scientists were able to “reprogram” tumors to include cancer-fighting immune system T cells…

Pathways that direct immune system to turn ‘on’ or ‘off’ found

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This research focused on the immune system’s dendritic cells (DCs), crucial cells that initiate and regulate immune responses. For example, the dendritic cells activate T lymphocytes to fight an infection or cancer. Curiously, they are also known to suppress the immune response. Determining when DCs turn the immune response “on” or “off” is a major question in immunology. …