Washington University in St. Louis studies show rare immune cell is asset and liability in fighting infection:
Posted Sep 02 2011 10:37pm
Washington University in St. Louis studies show rare immune cell is asset and liability in fighting infection:NCI Cancer Center News
The same trait that makes a rare immune cell invaluable in fighting some infections also can be exploited by other diseases to cause harm, two new studies show. In papers published online in Immunity, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reveal that the cells, known as CD8 alpha+ dendritic cells (CD8a+ DCs), can help the body beat back infection by a common parasite, but the same cells can be hijacked by a bacterium to decimate the body’s defenses... The cells also appear to be essential for some cancer vaccines, which enlist the power of the immune system to help fight tumors.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer's origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers' research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.