Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) October 30, 2012
When it comes to predicting which patients will benefit the most from a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, a team of British researchers is encouraging doctors to read the T-cells.
How do T-Cells work?
T-cells are part of the immune system and can be used as an indicator of its health. In the new British study, 40 mesothelioma and lung cancer patients who underwent platinum-based chemotherapy saw a dramatic drop in all types of T-cells. The most profound effect was seen in the regulatory T-cells (Treg) that are responsible for maintaining balance in the immune system. Patients whose CD8(+) T-cells recovered quickly after chemotherapy had the greatest overall survival.
What do the studies show for mesothelioma patients?
In an article in the British Journal of Cancer, the study’s authors conclude “Chemotherapy potentially provides a favourable environment for the development of anti-tumour immunity through transient Treg depletion and regeneration of the T-cell pool”. They also suggest that measuring the level of CD8(+) T-cells in particular could serve as a useful prognostic indicator for mesothelioma patients undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy.
In the end, it is hoped that the research being done on immune therapy and T-Cells will prove to be an effective means for treating the two main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma, both caused by exposure to asbestos.
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