Saturday, 28 May 2011

Immune system defense cells thought to be ‘disarmed’ by asbestos

A recent study published in International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology suggests that asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma not only cancer but also the body's defenses against unnecessary. The researchers examined the immune system is the main response, natural killer (NK), in this study put these cytotoxic cells for testing.

If inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can present in the lining of organs start of a process of change leading to mesothelioma cancer. Characterized by an irregular network of cancer, mesothelioma specific to the lining of the lungs is called pleural mesothelioma, when in the lining of other abdominal cavity is called peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma takes decades to develop, often twenty to fifty years. The symptoms show during the last step and the tumor is more aggressive and are often confused with symptoms of pneumonia or bronchitis. Many patients have no idea I've ever been exposed to asbestos and therefore have no reason to consult a medical advisor.

Mesothelioma affects about twenty thousand people each year worldwide. However, asbestos continues to be used throughout the world and in many countries without adequate collateral. Highly regulated in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, asbestos has become a security issue clean, rather than an industry leader in these countries.

Mesothelioma is often associated with asbestos in the workplace, which is thought to have peaked in the early 1970s in the United States. Because the latency period associated with mesothelioma cancer estimated in the United States are considered a peak now.

Most mesothelioma patients aware of their illness later in life, usually around the age of retirement. Life expectancy after a diagnosis of mesothelioma is short, from six months to two years. Mesothelioma treatments usually include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The Japanese study, conducted at Kawasaki Medical School, examined the effects of asbestos on NK cells, which under normal circumstances, would lead the fight against the invasion of the body of tumors and viruses. The NK cells contain protein targeting unwanted cell types. In a study of five months, NK cells were significantly depleted their defensive capabilities, having been exposed to asbestos throughout the test. NK cells exposed to asbestos for only two weeks showed a lower level of cytotoxicity, the toxic level of impact on target cells. NK cells from mesothelioma patient's tissue showed the same results. However, using fiberglass, asbestos, rather than to cross check the results, the outcome was not the same.

Members of the research team concluded: "These results show that asbestos has the potential to suppress the cytotoxicity of NK cells. In particular, it should be noted that both the NK cells of patients with malignant mesothelioma and those of a culture .. . from healthy volunteers with asbestos showed the same pattern of cytotoxicity decreased with low expression of NKp46. "