Imagine having your own personal army of cells in your highly advanced defense system, working against outside invaders or abnormal cells where each cell type (over one hundred and eighty-seven recorded) carries their own dedicated function. This specialized team of cells work together to fulfill the complex mission of protecting the body from infection or illness each day.
Our immunity or defense system works in three directives; the first is to (1) RECOGNIZE anything foreign and sound the alarm soon enough to thwart the invader. Molecules and cell surfaces that are identified as foreign are referred to as antigens and have the ability to elicit an immunogenic response. The second function is to (2) RESPOND to the alarm with enough of a counter attack to effectively neutralize the invader quickly. The third directive is to (3) REMEMBER what happened so that if the same situation were to arise again an effective response could be generated faster. The length and efficacy of the immune response depends upon the “intactness” of the underlying biochemistry.
During their lifetime, the cells of the immune system, based upon their experiences and exposures can change their cell surface antigens and their role in the immune response. More than any other organ or system in our body, the immune system is a dynamic system that can change. Like many other cells in our body, the cells of the immune system can be changed from the outside by drugs – Prednisone, Methotrexate, Humira, Remicade, and Plaquenil can suppress the immune system and thus, at least temporarily, help with certain inflammatory diseases, but they don’t heal or redirect the immune response. ............................................................................................................................................................... ENGINEERED KILLER T-CELLS COULD PROVIDE LONG-LASTING IMMUNITY AGAINST CANCER UCLA researchers use stem cells to engineer cells that attack human tumors in mice Sarah C.P. Williams |
They’ve been called the “special forces” of the immune system: invariant natural killer T cells. Although there are relatively few of them in the body, they are more powerful than many other immune cells. In experiments with mice, UCLA researchers have shown they can harness the power of iNKT cells to attack tumor cells and treat cancer. The new method, described in the journal Cell Stem Cell, suppressed the growth of multiple types of human tumors that had been transplanted into the animals. “What’s really exciting is that we can give this treatment just once and it increases the number of iNKT cells to levels that can fight cancer for the lifetime of the animal,” said Lili Yang, a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA and the study’s senior author.
Scientists have hypothesized that iNKT cells could be a useful weapon against cancer because it has been shown that they are capable of targeting many types of cancer at once — a difference from most immune cells, which recognize and attack only one particular type of cancer cell at a time. But most people have very low quantities of iNKT cells; less than 0.1% of blood cells are iNKT cells in most cases.
Still, Yang and her colleagues knew that previous clinical studies have shown that cancer patients with naturally higher levels of iNKT cells generally live longer than those with lower levels of cells. “They are very powerful cells but they’re naturally present in such small numbers in the human blood that they usually can’t make a therapeutic difference,” said Yang, who also is a UCLA assistant professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Lili Yang, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center
The researchers’ goal was to create a therapy that would permanently boost the body’s ability to naturally produce more iNKT cells. They started with hematopoietic stem cells — cells found in the bone marrow that can duplicate themselves and can become all types of blood and immune cells, including iNKT cells. The researchers genetically engineered the stem cells so that they were programmed to develop into iNKT cells.
They tested the resulting cells, called hematopoietic stem cell-engineered invariant natural killer T cells, or HSC-iNKT cells, on mice with both human bone marrow and human cancers — either multiple myeloma (a blood cancer) or melanoma (a solid tumor cancer) — and studied what happened to the mice’s immune systems, the cancers and the HSC-iNKT cells after they had integrated into the bone marrow. They found that the stem cells differentiated normally into iNKT cells and continued to produce iNKT cells for the rest of the animals’ lives, which was generally about a year. “One advantage of this approach is that it’s a one-time cell therapy that can provide patients with a lifelong supply of iNKT cells,” Yang said.
While mice without the engineered stem cell transplants had nearly undetectable levels of iNKT cells, in those that received engineered stem cell transplants, iNKT cells made up as much as 60% of the immune systems’ total T cell count. Plus, researchers found they could control those numbers by how they engineered the original hematopoietic stem cells. (See complete Press Release in: UCLA Newsroom)
CANCER PREVENTION can be closely aligned with EARLY DETECTION. But from the perspective of a lifestyle upgrade, it is greatly proven that smart nutrition, toxin prevention (smoking, alcohol, drug abuse control), Stress management and Immune system support are all main ingredients to the prevention of cancers. These same protocols, for those who recently underwent cancer treatment, are what medical experts and wellness professionals prescribe to STAY IN REMISSION.
About the Publisher:
JESSE STOFF, MD, HMD, FAAFP - Dr. Stoff is a highly credentialed medical expert specializing in Cancer Immunology and a publisher of current educational programs about Prevention, Wellness and medical texts about Onco-Immunology. As a senior clinical investigator for cancer treatment protocols, Dr. Stoff is dedicated to resolving the most challenging health issues of our time. He has spoken worldwide in some of the top medical conferences about his experiences and analyses on the study of human disease. His medical practice (INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OF NY, Westbury, NY - www.IMOFNY.com) has been continually providing patients with the many comprehensive clinical options and modalities available- including "ONCO-IMMUNOLOGY", the science of battling cancer cells and reversing pre-cancerous conditions through a complete prevention program that has earned him great success in this field. For more information, visit: www.Dr.JesseStoff.com
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