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Researchers uncover allergy-cancer connection
Date:3/19/2014

in two subpopulations of MDSCs, but most dramatically in the monocytic subpopulation. Through their experiments, the researchers showed that monocytic MDSCs can be decreased by over-the-counter antihistamines such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) and cimetidine (Tagamet).

In addition, the researchers found that patients experiencing allergic symptoms have more MDSCs circulating in their bloodstream than non-allergic patients.

"MDSCs have generated a great deal of interest in recent years because they limit the effects of the immune response against cancer," says study collaborator Harry D. Bear, M.D., Ph.D., member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey, professor and chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the VCU School of Medicine and director of the Breast Health Center at VCU Health System. "Now that we have shown that antihistamines can interfere with the production of MDSCs, we are hopeful that we may be able to use them to restore the immune system's ability to fight off tumors."

Previously, the research team found that mast cells were essential for MDSC activity. Their next step is to further dissect the mechanism of the mast cell and MDSC interaction and the involvement of other mast cell mediators, like histamine, in MDSC function.


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Contact: Alaina Schneider
afschneider@vcu.edu
804-628-4578
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert  

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