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Red alert: Body kills 'spontaneous' blood cancers on a daily basis
Date:2/2/2014

eam made the discovery while investigating how B cells change when lymphoma develops. "As part of the research, we 'disabled' the T cells to suppress the immune system and, to our surprise, found that lymphoma developed in a matter of weeks, where it would normally take years," Dr Kallies said. "It seems that our immune system is better equipped than we imagined to identify and eliminate cancerous B cells, a process that is driven by the immune T cells in our body."

Associate Professor Tarlinton said the research would enable scientists to identify pre-cancerous cells in the initial stages of their development, enabling early intervention for patients at risk of developing B-cell lymphoma.

"In the majority of patients, the first sign that something is wrong is finding an established tumour, which in many cases is difficult to treat" Associate Professor Tarlinton said. "Now that we know B-cell lymphoma is suppressed by the immune system, we could use this information to develop a diagnostic test that identifies people in early stages of this disease, before tumours develop and they progress to cancer. There are already therapies that could remove these 'aberrant' B cells in at-risk patients, so once a test is developed it can be rapidly moved towards clinical use."


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Contact: Penny Fannin
fannin@wehi.edu.au
61-417-125-700
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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