Saturday February 29, 2020

Subset of Immune Cells May Kill Cancerous Cells: Study

Study finds 'helper' cells that can kill cancerous tumours

0
//
Cancerous cells
Researchers have identified how a subset of immune cells are activated to kill cancerous cells, which could hold the key to new powerful therapies against cancer. Pixabay

In a major breakthrough, researchers have identified how a subset of immune cells are activated to kill cancerous cells, which could hold the key to new powerful therapies against cancer.

This new study built on previous research which found that following immunotherapy some CD4+ T cells, traditionally thought to be ‘helper’ and ‘regulator’ immune cells, become cytotoxic and directly engage with and kill cancer cells.

Published in the journal Immunity, the research team from University College London, examined the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning this activity, as part of an experimental study of immunotherapy in mice.

Researchers found that IL-2, a ‘growth factor’ for T cells and the ‘transcription factor’ Blimp-1 are responsible for initiating potent killer activity in CD4+ T cells within cancerous tumours.

“We knew these immune cells had the ability to proactively kill cancer cells with incredible potency, but to maximise their potential, we needed to know how this mechanism was activated,” said study co-lead author Sergio Quezada.

cancerous
“We knew these immune cells had the ability to proactively kill cancerous cells with incredible potency, but to maximise their potential, we needed to know how this mechanism was activated,” said study co-lead author Sergio Quezada. Pixabay

“Our discovery provides the evidence and rationale for utilising Blimp-1 to maximise the anti-tumour activity of CD4+ T cells,” Quezada added.

Work is now underway in our lab to develop new personalised cell therapies where the activity of Blimp-1 can be maxed up to drive potent tumour control, the researchers said.

According to the study, T cells are a subset of lymphocytes (white blood cells), which play a key role in the body’s immune response. In immunotherapy T cells are modified and used to attack cancer.

These cells move around our bodies, looking for infected cells and killing them.

However, T cells do not recognise most cancers, since cancers develop from our own tissues and appear normal to most T cells, the research said.

The main challenge with T cell immunotherapy approaches is to find ways to direct T cells to attack cancer cells.

Also Read- Posting About Depression on Facebook May Not be Helpful: Study

“Cellular therapies have only recently entered the mainstream in terms of clinical application. Our findings broaden our understanding of the regulators of T cell differentiation, illuminating new elements that might be targeted to enhance therapeutic efficacy,” said study researcher Karl Peggs from the University College London in UK.

According to the researchers, the study like this helps scientists understand better the intricacies of our immune system and how it can be utilised to kill cancer cells. (IANS)

Next Story

Hazardous Dangers Caused by Pest Repellants

0
pest-repellants
Repellents offer notable convenience when it comes to keeping away biting and stinging pests.

By Dinesh Kumar

Repellents offer notable convenience when it comes to keeping away biting and stinging pests. They work by interfering with the natural mechanisms that pests use to locate their victims.  For example, chemical agents within mosquito repellents mask the carbon dioxide and sweat odour produced by the body. In this manner, mosquito repellents make a person ‘invisible’ to this disease-carrying insect. 

Other pest repellents use non-biodegradable synthetic chemicals capable of interfering with vital metabolic processes in the target pest. Chemicals such as diethyl-methyl benzamide( DEET) and dimethyl phthalate (DMP) can interfere with the respiratory system of many insect species even at low concentrations. Best Pest Control Companies will use organic ways to get rid of the pests. 

This capability is why many popular pest repellents contain DEET and DMP as the main active ingredients. Unfortunately, these highly effective organic compounds pose a notable health risk to human beings in higher concentrations. This article looks at the various dangers posed by pest repellents.

  • Poisoning of Small children

Pest repellent manufacturers try to make their products as desirable as possible. This is why popular‘s repellants use fruity sweet-smelling fragrances that appeal to a consumer’s sense of smell. Furthermore, manufacturers often present their products as multifunctional purchases. Good examples would be cans of pest repellant that you can use as air-fresheners and skin lotions with insect-repelling properties.

pest-repellants
Other pest repellents use non-biodegradable synthetic chemicals capable of interfering with vital metabolic processes in the target pest.

While it is only logical to use a sweet-smelling pest repellent, such repellents do pose a significant danger when it comes to small kids. Reason being, the sweet smell might trick a child into eating a liquid or balm repellant. In this scenario, severe poisoning can occur due to the child’s lower body weight.

  • Cancer with Longterm Use

The non-biodegradable organic nature of the active ingredients found in pest repellents pose yet another significant hazard to users of these products. Users typically apply the repellent directly to the skin, either an aerosol spray or body lotion. When this happens, the active chemical agents within the product diffuse across the layers of skin and end up in the bloodstream. 

In this manner, DEET, DMP and other toxic organic compounds begin accumulating within body tissue. In a wide range of scenarios, these chemicals are fat-soluble, so end up in fatty tissue. Over time, and with regular use of pest repellents, concentrations of these harmful chemicals can reach such high levels that cancer develops. However, it takes decades of fanatical pest repellent use for one to develop the fatal condition.

  • Skin Conditions

pest repellants
Proper use of pest repellents requires users to spray or rub the chemical concoction onto the skin. Pixabay

Proper use of pest repellents requires users to spray or rub the chemical concoction onto the skin. As a consequence, some of the active ingredients in the repellent start making their way into the skin. While within the skin, these reactive chemical compounds can irritate cell membranes and even dehydrate cells. 

In the above scenario, red itchy blotches begin to form around the area of application. These blotches typically dissipate with discontinued use of the repellent.  However, some people do experience adverse reactions to the chemicals whereby painful lesions develop on the skin. It is, therefore, advisable to immediately stop using a pest repellant once you notice increased sensitivity on areas of application.

Conclusion

Despite having notable practical benefits, the active ingredients in pest repellents do pose a considerable health risk to users. Still there are some pest removal service providers where they use natural pest repellants and other alternative ways to control pests.

Also Read- Apple to Launch ARM-Based Laptop in 2021: Report

Author Bio:

Dinesh Kumar VM.

I’m an SEO Analyst and blogger outreach expert at ClickDo Ltd. Also work in Google Ads, Facebook Ads & Remarketing. Enjoy writing business & tech related blogs, Contributor of London Business News blog.