Navigation Links
UAlberta medical researchers discover how immune system kills healthy cells
Date:9/10/2013

Medical scientists at the University of Alberta have made a key discovery about how the immune system kills healthy cells while attacking infections. This finding could one day lead to better solutions for cancer and anti-viral treatments.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher Colin Anderson recently published his team's findings in the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Immunology. His team included colleagues from the United States and the Netherlands, and graduate students from the U of A.

Previous research has shown that when the immune system launches an aggressive attack on infected cells, healthy tissues and cells can be killed or damaged in the process. Anderson and his team discovered the mechanisms in the immune system that cause this "overkill" response.

"This opens the opportunity that one might be able to manipulate the immune system response to block collateral damage without blocking the killing of infected cells," Anderson explained.

"In the future this might be important in the development of clinical treatments in cases where the immune system response needs to be harnessed. For example, in treating various viral infections, the collateral damage caused during the immune system attack is a large part of the illness.

"In other cases, such as cancer or tumour treatments, one may want to increase the immune system's ability to kill collateral cells, in hopes of killing tumour cells that would otherwise escape during treatment and spread elsewhere in the body. Our research suggests there are other mechanisms that could improve cancer therapy and make it more efficacious. This finding could also help us understand why certain cancer treatments are more successful than others."

Anderson's team discovered "the weaponry the immune system uses to try and kill an infected or cancerous cell is not exactly the same as the weaponry that causes collateral damage to innocent bystander cells that aren't infected." For years, it was assumed the weaponry to kill infected cells versus healthy cells was exactly the same.

The research group is continuing the work in this area to see if they can indeed alter the level of collateral damage to healthy cells without altering the attack on infected cells.

Anderson is a researcher in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. He is also a member of both the Alberta Diabetes Institute and the Alberta Transplant Institute.


'/>"/>

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

Related biology news :

1. Diets high in salt could deplete calcium in the body: UAlberta research
2. Alnylam and UMass Medical School announce Tuschl I patent upheld in European opposition proceedings
3. Miniature pressure sensors for medical touch
4. Research!America says house funding levels for FY13 could undermine medical progress
5. Mainz University Medical Center attracts funding of Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
6. Medical device, health professionals attend first national conference on value-driven engineering
7. Ultrasensitive biosensor promising for medical diagnostics
8. UH Case Medical Center, CardioKinetix reveal promising data for treatment for heart failure
9. Tufts Medical Center researchers finds marker in premies saliva predicts readiness to feed by mouth
10. CDS Monarch Deploys DigitalPersona Strong Authentication Solutions for Secure Access to Electronic Medical Records
11. Nuisance seaweed found to produce compounds with biomedical potential
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Unique technology combines v ... security   Xura, Inc. ... digital communications services, today announced it is working alongside ... customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ... within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), a leading ... position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ownership and ... been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been appointed CEO/President ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder of the Fitzmaurice ... surgery and surgery of the hand by the National Board of Physicians and ... above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most comprehensive, effective treatment ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company ... granted the company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for the treatment of ... the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South ... week by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. ... years, and they are down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years ...
Breaking Biology Technology: