Exploring the relationship between fever and cancer incidence
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IMAGE: Figure 1. This is a schematic illustration of the hypothesis presented in this article. view more 

Credit: Wieslaw Kozak, Tomasz Jedrzejewski, Malgorzata Pawlikowska, Jakub Piotrowski, and Sylwia Wrotek

Recurring patterns in patient accounts suggest the existence of an inverse relationship between personal history of infectious fever and cancer risk, and these patterns are documented throughout decades of medical literature. However, evidence supporting this correlation continues to be primarily anecdotal. In “Toward Antitumor Immunity and Febrile Infections: Gamma/Delta (γδ) T Cells Hypothesis” published in The Quarterly Review of Biology, Wieslaw Kozak, Tomasz Jedrzejewski, Malgorzata Pawlikowska, Jakub Piotrowski, and Sylwia Wrotek propose a mechanistic hypothesis that focuses on the potential impact infectious fever has on a particular subset of T cells, known as gamma/delta (gd) T cells.

Drawing upon previous research and experimental data, the authors argue that repeated exposure to fever enhances the ability of gd T cells to detect cellular abnormalities and to foster inhospitable environments that destroy malignant cells. This paper is the first to acknowledge the role that gd T cells may play as participants in this inverse relationship.

Infectious fever is the defensive and adaptive reaction that occurs when an organism’s immune system comes into

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