Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Allergies may help in fighting brain tumors

19.10.2011
Subjects with somewhat elevated levels of antibodies produced to fight allergens were less likely to go on to develop brain tumors, according to a new study. The study adds to evidence from prior studies, but some questions still remain.

A study published online Oct. 18 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute provides some new but qualified support for the idea that the immune system’s response to allergies may reduce the risk of developing deadly brain tumors.

“These results suggest that there is something different about the immune response to tumor cells in people with allergies.”People with somewhat elevated blood levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), antibodies that carry out the body’s immune response to allergens, were significantly less likely to develop gliomas, and those who did survived somewhat longer, than those with clinically normal IgE levels, according to the study by a team of researchers at Brown University and several other institutions in the United States and Europe.

“These results suggest that there is something different about the immune response to tumor cells in people with allergies,” said corresponding author Dominique Michaud, associate professor of epidemiology in the Public Health Program at Brown University. “In terms of fighting the cancer or preventing it from growing, people who have allergies might be protected. They might be able to better to fight the cancer.”

Questions answered, questions raised

The new study employed a methodology that addresses questions raised by previous studies that have also reported similar associations between IgE, or allergy symptoms, and brain tumors. Instead of asking people who have or have not been diagnosed with brain tumors to describe their allergy history or to take IgE tests, the study delved into the detailed records of tens of thousands of people who participated in four broad-based health studies: the Physicians’ Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study, the Women’s Health Study, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Such “prospective” analysis of samples collected from patients before they were diagnosed or treated for brain tumors, allowed the researchers to measure the association between IgE and brain cancer risk without worry that the IgE levels were affected by the course of the disease and treatments for it.

“This is really the first study to look at total IgE levels collected prior to disease,” Michaud said. “This is important in being able to determine whether this is a causal effect.”

Although the pool of patients in the four studies was large, the actual number of relevant cases was small. Only 169 people with stored plasma subsequently developed brain tumors. They were matched with 520 control subjects (otherwise similar people who did not develop tumors). The small numbers blunted some of the study’s results.

For example, the researchers found a statistically significant reduction in glioma risk among people with borderline elevated IgE levels (in a range of 25,000 to 100,000 units per liter), but not for people with even higher levels of IgE. Michaud acknowledged that further research would be needed to explain why the protective effect couldn’t be measured in people with the highest IgE levels.

Ultimately, Michaud said, by strengthening the evidence that allergic immune response may affect brain tumors, the study may encourage cancer researchers to focus on the biological mechanisms underlying this association and provide insight into the disease and its treatment.

In addition to Brown, other institutions with affiliated authors of the paper include Imperial College in London, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.

David Orenstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>