Sunday, October 3, 2010

T-Cell Research

Awesome T cell image found here

Medical News Today recently published this very encouraging article regarding a study that examines cellular defects in autoimmune diseases and cancer: 
"For decades, autoimmune diseases have been treated by reducing overall immune response. That's been effective in extending life spans, but has been hard on the quality of life for many of those patients," said Hong Jiang, M.D. Ph.D., a faculty member of the Division of Rheumatology, in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and the leading scientist of the study and corresponding author of the paper. "Now that we understand the specific mechanism of how regulatory T cells discriminate between 'self' and 'non-self,' and the cellular/molecular defect that makes that process go awry, we hope to develop new type of therapies that specifically target the defect in patients without damaging their normal immune functions." 
.........Current therapies for treating autoimmune disease and controlling rejection of transplants result in nonspecific suppression of normal function of the immune system. In contrast to these existing approaches (which systemically suppress the immune system), therapies based on this new research are designed to selectively suppress immune responses to self-antigens without damaging the body's normal anti-infection and anti-tumor responses.
You can read more about this exciting study here

It's wonderful to see these important studies being conducted into the mechanism of autoimmune disease. It seems as though the hitch in this giddyup unfortunately comes in when scientists take this information to try to "develop those new types of therapies that specifically target the defect in patients without damaging their normal immune functions"

A tall order, indeed. Go get 'em, Dr. Jaing. 


LaToya said...

It's interesting that you post this because I was researching how hyperactivity of helper T-cells might be an early indicator of autoimmune activity.

I am very interested in this research especially since I have an over abundance of them but otherwise seronegative but very symptomatic.

Anonymous said...

That's a really interessing article, thanks !!