Bev G wrote:I have done a search of the literature and find nothing related to cancer in people with type 1 diabetes, which I think is a little weird as there is so much work being done now with immunotherapy and cancer.
The immune system is comprised of a variety of cell types that must act in unison to maintain a healthy balance. White blood cells called CD4+T cells play a dual role within the immune system. Some CD4+T cells activate immune responses, whereas others, called regulatory T cells, function in the opposite direction by constraining immune responses. This duality is important because uncontrolled immune responses may result in immune system attacks against the body’s own cells and tissues, which occurs in allergic and autoimmune diseases. One of the hallmarks of uncontrolled immune responses is excessive tissue inflammation. Although tissue inflammation is a normal part of immune responses, excessive inflammation can lead to tissue and organ damage and may be potentially lethal. How CD4+T cells become either activating/inflammatory or regulatory is not well understood, according to the researchers.
“We found that the Bach2 gene played a key role in regulating the switch between inflammatory and regulatory cells in mice,” said NIAMS researcher Kiyoshi Hirahara, M.D. “The loss of the Bach2 gene in CD4+ T cells caused them to become inflammatory, even in situations that would normally result in the formation of protective regulatory cells.”
The team found that if mice lacked the Bach2 gene their cells became inflammatory and the mice died of autoimmune diseases within the first few months of life. When they re-inserted Bach2 (using gene therapy) into Bach2-deficient cells, their ability to produce regulatory cells was restored.
"Although genes have been found that play specific roles in either inflammatory cells or regulatory cells, Bach2 regulates the choice between the two cell types, resulting in its critical role in maintaining the immune system’s healthy balance," said NCI principal investigator, Nicholas P. Restifo, M.D., "It’s apt that the gene shares its name with the famous composer Bach, since it orchestrates many components of the immune response, which, like the diverse instruments of an orchestra, must act in unison to achieve symphonic harmony."
Restifo suggests that these findings have implications for cancer as well, since cancers co-opt regulatory T cells to prevent their own destruction by antitumor immune responses. He and his colleagues are now working toward manipulating the activity of the Bach2 gene, with the goal of developing a new cancer immunotherapy. Also, as this study was in mice, it must be replicated in humans before its findings can be applied in a clinical setting.
mjkelley wrote:I had mild/moderate RA.
I had two thoughts go through my head....
1. my body knew something was wrong (the cancer) but couldn't "find" it, so it went on attack.
2. (Which I feel much stronger about) The drugs I took for the RA lowered my immune system, and allowed the cancer to take hold.
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