Posts Tagged ‘survival rates’

Can Parasite Protein Assist in Fighting Ovarian Tumors in Mice?

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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A new study published in PLOS Genetics reported that a specific protein secreted by the parasite Toxaplasma gondii causes the immune system to fight off ovarian tumors in mice.  Previously it had been discovered that using the bodies own immune system to fight tumor cells was hampered because of a phenomenon called immune tolerance in which the immune system has difficulty identifying which cells to attack.  In the current study, researchers build upon that previous work that a safe, non-reproducing vaccine strain of T. gonfii could cure mice of several types of solid tumors, and identified which parasite proteins and which immunological pathways are required to break immune tolerance. In the study they systematically deleted genes for secreted effective protein–molecules that the parasite injects into a host cell to modulate the immune system during infection–and injected the altered parasites into mice with aggressive ovarian cancer. Results showed that specific rhoptry and dense granule effector proteins that T gondii secretes before and after invading host cells, respectively, control the development of an effective host antitumor response. and increase the survival of mice with ovarian tumors.

This use of infectious organisms to break tumor immune tolerance may be an excellent treatment option for treating cancer in the future and is currently being used in clinical trials with pancreatic tumors where the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is used to break the immune tolerance. More research is planned.

Having Diabetes May Increase Survival in Lung Cancer Patients

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


A new study reported by and published in the November issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology concluded that having diabetes improves the chances of survival of patients diagnosed with lung cancer. Using data from 3 studies the researchers analyzed a cohort of 1,677 patients with lung cancer within a clearly defined geographical area with a large and stable population. The relationship between lung cancer, diabetes and survival were analyzed.
Findings demonstrated that lung cancer patients who had diabetes had higher survival rates than lung cancer patients without diabetes. These rates were as follows: At the one year mark, survival of those with lung cancer and diabetes was 43% compared to 28% in those with lung cancer only: at two years the rates were 19% verses 11 %, and at 3 years were 3% verses 1%. The research team stated that “the fact that patients with diabetes mellitus showed a lower frequency of metastatic disease may partly explain the survival benefits in patients with diabetes mellitus because the majority of the patients with lung cancer die of metastasis and not of the primary tumor.” However, as we adjust for stage of disease in our analysis this potential advantage can hardly explain the observed benefit in patients with diabetes mellitus.” In addition increased survival was demonstrated in one study where all patients had advanced lung cancer.
The researchers did not discuss the exact cause of the relationship, stated the relationship warrented further study, and recommended against withholding standard cancer treatment in patients who have both lung cancer and diabetes.