Tags: Cancer | Ovarian | cancer | immune | system | parasite

Parasite May Help Fight Ovarian Cancer

Parasite May Help Fight Ovarian Cancer
(Copyright Fotolia)

Monday, 25 July 2016 11:19 AM

Researchers say they have identified a parasite that could lead to a new way to treat ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer, which causes about 14,200 deaths a year, is the fifth most common form of the disease in women, and also the most deadly of the “female” cancers because it is most often detected after it has spread to other organs.

One promising strategy in the fight against cancer is to use the body's own immune system to remove tumor cells, but due to a phenomenon called immune tolerance, the immune system has a difficult time identifying which cells to attack.

Now scientists at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University have identified specific proteins secreted by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii that cause the immune system in mice to attack established ovarian tumors.

In the new study, scientists built upon previous discoveries that a safe, non-reproducing vaccine strain of T. gondii could cure mice of several types of solid tumors, and identified which parasite proteins and which immunological pathways are required to break immune tolerance.

Using infectious organisms to break tumor immune tolerance may be an excellent therapeutic option for treating cancer in the future, say the researchers of their study, which appears in PLOS Genetics.

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A new study identifies a parasite scientists say may help them fight ovarian cancer.
Ovarian, cancer, immune, system, parasite
Monday, 25 July 2016 11:19 AM
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