Navigation Links
Discovery could change the way doctors treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases
Date:4/27/2011

Edmonton Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have made an important discovery that provides a new understanding of how our immune system "learns" not to attack our own body, and this could affect the way doctors treat patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer.

When patients undergo chemotherapy for cancer or as part of experimental therapies to treat autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and lupus, the treatment kills the patients' white blood cells. What can be done afterwards, is to give these patients blood stem cells through transplantation. Stem cells are taken from patients then injected back into them with the theory being that the patients' immune system won't attack their own cells, and the stem cells can get to work healing their bodies.

But U of A medical researchers Govindarajan Thangavelu, Colin Anderson and their collaborators discovered that if a particular molecule is not working properly in T-cells, the body will attack itself. This is significant for stem-cell transplantation treatment because it means the immune systems of the patients could consider their own cells "foreign" and initiate an attack.

"So your own cells would be killing you," says Thangavelu, a PhD student specializing in immunology, who was the first author in the research study, which was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Autoimmunity. "What we found is if this molecule is absent in T-cells, if the pathway isn't intact, it will cause severe autoimmunity to the subject's own body. In essence, subjects become allergic to their own cells."

Anderson, an associate professor with the Alberta Diabetes Institute and Principal Investigator added: "The ability of our immune system to attack dangerous microbes while not attacking our own cells or tissues is a delicate balance. Restarting the immune system after wiping it out in patients with autoimmune diseases or cancer requires re-establishing this appropriate balance. We discovered that a particular immune system molecule is critical to prevent the immune system from attacking our own cells or tissues when the immune system is restarted. If that molecule is missing, the immune system will wreak havoc on the body."

T-cells are supposed to protect people and animals from things invading their bodies. But this research demonstrates if these cells become unregulated because they are missing a molecule, it can lead to autoimmunity particularly dangerous in scenarios where patients have lost white blood cells when they are being treated for autoimmune diseases or cancer.

Thangavelu has won awards for this research. He was invited to present his work at an international conference of immunology in Japan last year. He has also travelled to the United Kingdom to talk about his findings with the medical community.


'/>"/>

Contact: Raquel Maurier
raquel.maurier@ualberta.ca
780-492-5986
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of relationship between proteins may impact development of cancer therapies
2. Discovery of 2 new genes provides hope for stemming Staph infections
3. New discovery proves cause of weight problems in Huntingtons disease
4. A safer, more effective morphine may be possible with Indiana University discovery
5. Discovery in liver cancer cells provides new target for drugs
6. Finding of long-sought drug target structure may expedite drug discovery
7. New laser technique opens doors for drug discovery
8. LRI awards wide-ranging research grants to drive next generation of scientific discovery in lupus
9. Clinical observation leads to lung cancer discovery
10. New weight loss discovery by Harvard scientists moves us closer to the Pill for obesity
11. Leicester leads on heart attack genetic link discovery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film ... Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son ... lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t ... would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to their offering. The ... commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population ... to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction ... considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: