Training The Immune System To Fight Cancer Has 19th-Century Roots
December 28, 2015
A novel immunotherapy drug is credited for successfully treating former President Jimmy Carter’s advanced melanoma. Instead of killing cancer cells, these drugs boost the patient’s immune system, which does the job instead.
Immunotherapy is cutting-edge cancer treatment, but the idea dates back more than 100 years, to a young surgeon who was willing to think outside the box.
The Toxins of William B. Coley and the Treatment of Bone and Soft-Tissue Sarcomas
Edward F McCarthy, MD
Iowa Orthop J. 2006; 26: 154–158.
Helminth infection promotes colonization resistance via type 2 immunity
Science 29 Apr 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6285, pp. 608-612
Parasitic worms affect gut microbes
Improved hygiene practices in high-income countries may come with an increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other similar disorders. Ramanan et al. show that intestinal helminth infection, caused by parasitic worms, protects IBD-susceptible mice from developing the disease.
The infection increases specific protective species and limits other inflammatory members of the microbiota.
People from helminth-endemic regions harbored a similar protective microbiota, and their deworming led to an increase in inflammatory Bacteroidales species, similar to what the authors observed in the mice. Thus, a changing microbial environment may shape susceptibility to inflammatory disease.
When Parasites Could Be The Treatment Instead Of The Illness
April 14, 2016
Orthopaedic Surgery in a Patient with Metal Sensitivity
Raviraj Adala, et al.
J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2011 Jan-Apr; 4(1): 67–68.
… a patient with proven metal sensitivity to cobalt, chromium, nickel and molybdenum, who required bilateral total knee replacement for osteoarthritis and was successfully managed by a titanium prosthesis.
Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality
Science 8 May 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6235 pp. 694-699
Michael J. Mina, et al.
Immunosuppression after measles is known to predispose people to opportunistic infections for a period of several weeks to months. Using population-level data, we show that measles has a more prolonged effect on host resistance, extending over 2 to 3 years. We find that nonmeasles infectious disease mortality in high-income countries is tightly coupled to measles incidence at this lag, in both the pre- and post-vaccine eras. We conclude that long-term immunologic sequelae of measles drive interannual fluctuations in nonmeasles deaths. This is consistent with recent experimental work that attributes the immunosuppressive effects of measles to depletion of B and T lymphocytes. Our data provide an explanation for the long-term benefits of measles vaccination in preventing all-cause infectious disease. By preventing measles-associated immune memory loss, vaccination protects polymicrobial herd immunity.
Doctors Say Changes In Wheat Do Not Explain Rise Of Celiac Disease
September 26, 2013
“We know that celiac disease has doubled in the last 20 years,” Davis says.
And he says we known that humans have probably not changed, “so the more likely culprit is the wheat itself.”
It’s true that about 40 years ago, breeders introduced new varieties of wheat that helped farmers increase their grain yields. Those varieties, which came out of the Green Revolution, now make up 90 percent of all the wheat that farmers grow around the world.
But the claim that the more productive wheat is somehow making people sick didn’t sound right to scientists who work with the crop.
“I never thought that wheat was toxic,” says Donald Kasarda, who has studied gluten proteins for more than 40 years as a research chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Leffler says it’s true that the prevalence of celiac disease is up. About 1 percent of the population has this condition, which makes it very vulnerable to even small amounts of gluten, and they say it isn’t just due to better diagnosis and awareness.
There’s also a growing consensus that another portion of the population does have a nonceliac gluten sensitivity.
That means they test negative for celiac disease but have some similar symptoms — like diarrhea, abdominal pain and headaches — after eating foods with gluten.
Leffler says there’s likely no single cause leading to the increased prevalence of celiac. And he doesn’t agree with the notion that changes to modern wheat could explain what’s happening.
“We sort of chafe at these oversimplistic theories that purport to explain an entire rise in a disease,” he says.
Leffler says the increase in celiac disease comes at a time when lots of other autoimmune diseases and allergies are on the rise, too.
And one theory that might help explain this phenomenon is the so-called hygiene hypothesis.
Truth In Labeling: Celiac Community Cheers FDA Rule For Gluten Free
August 06, 2014
As of Aug. 5, all food manufacturers must be in compliance with a new labeling standard set by the Food and Drug Administration.
The rule states that foods may be labeled “gluten free” only if there’s less than 20 parts per million of the protein.
By exploiting allied phenotypic data, it is possible to examine the genetic contribution to such aspects of disease biology (including prognosis) by comparing the genetic profiles of patients with contrasting clinical phenotypes—a so-called ‘within-cases’ analysis.
Prognosis in autoimmune and infectious disease: new insights from genetics
Clinical & Translational Immunology (2014) 3, e15
James C Lee, et al.
Keywords: autoimmunity; FOXO3; genetics; infection; prognosis
despite the apparent success, GWAS results have only explained a relatively small proportion of the total heritability of each disease.
Work is now underway to try to identify the ‘missing heritability’ through a variety of complementary methods, including:
- whole-genome sequencing (to identify rare variants that may have larger effect sizes) and
- studies to examine interactions between a given gene and other genes (epistasis) and
- between genes and the environment.