Cancer – the Immune System

Cancer the Immune System

Our immune systems are a first line of defense against disease, but there are times when too much defense is not such a good thing. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Allen: My lab studies the immune system and how the immune system fights cancer.

Coy Allen is an Assistant Professor of Inflammatory Diseases at Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine

Allen: The immune system is the body’s primary line of defense against viruses, bacteria, parasites. Under normal conditions, the immune system provides a powerful protection against these microorganisms and against diverse illnesses, including cancer. So, when the immune system isn’t working correctly, cancer spreads throughout the body. Our lab studies how the immune system fights that spread and fights tumors.

After the immune system has dealt with a tumor or a disease, what then?

Allen: The immune system is all about balance. It’s really important, when we’re exposed to pathogen or bacteria or a tumor, that we have a very robust immune response, but the immune response is a very broad sword. So, once it becomes started and once the threat has been dealt with, it’s really important for our bodies to down regulate that as we begin to clear the bacteria, as we begin to clear the virus. So, as we begin to get well, it’s really important for our immune systems to begin to shut back down again. We’re talking about shutting down an overzealous immune response.
The immune system will cause a lot of damage. It causes collateral damage when it gets started. So, once the bacteria or virus or cancer cell has been eliminated, it’s really important for our healthy tissues to shut down the immune response.
The immune response is very damaging to healthy tissue as well. And so, we really want to protect what’s healthy, but eliminate what’s not.

We’ll hear more about the immune system and cancer therapy in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet

.

Cancer - the Immune System

When it comes to our immune system, there are times when too much defense is not such a good thing.
Air Date:02/06/2015
Scientist:
Transcript:

Cancer the Immune System

Our immune systems are a first line of defense against disease, but there are times when too much defense is not such a good thing. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Allen: My lab studies the immune system and how the immune system fights cancer.

Coy Allen is an Assistant Professor of Inflammatory Diseases at Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine

Allen: The immune system is the body's primary line of defense against viruses, bacteria, parasites. Under normal conditions, the immune system provides a powerful protection against these microorganisms and against diverse illnesses, including cancer. So, when the immune system isn't working correctly, cancer spreads throughout the body. Our lab studies how the immune system fights that spread and fights tumors.

After the immune system has dealt with a tumor or a disease, what then?

Allen: The immune system is all about balance. It's really important, when we're exposed to pathogen or bacteria or a tumor, that we have a very robust immune response, but the immune response is a very broad sword. So, once it becomes started and once the threat has been dealt with, it's really important for our bodies to down regulate that as we begin to clear the bacteria, as we begin to clear the virus. So, as we begin to get well, it's really important for our immune systems to begin to shut back down again. We're talking about shutting down an overzealous immune response.
The immune system will cause a lot of damage. It causes collateral damage when it gets started. So, once the bacteria or virus or cancer cell has been eliminated, it's really important for our healthy tissues to shut down the immune response.
The immune response is very damaging to healthy tissue as well. And so, we really want to protect what's healthy, but eliminate what's not.

We'll hear more about the immune system and cancer therapy in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet

.