Tag Archives: Immune system

IDR-1: Amino-acid peptide that boosts immune system

A powerful immune system is the pre-requisite for a healthy body. Our immune system is considered as the guard which fights with the negative bodies that tend to make us sick. And to help our immune system in its battle against the negative bodies, we have modern antibiotics which prevents us from the deadly attack of bacterias. But certain bacterias are found to be drug-resistant. The most dangerous of the lot are vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are almost antibiotic-resistant. To find a solution for these superbugs, Immunologist Robert Hancock of the University of British Columbia studied a group of short proteins, or peptides, that in high concentrations can kill bacteria. He administered the peptides to superbug-infected mice, anticipating that the peptides might trigger ‘sepsis’, a potentially lethal condition brought on by bacteria in the bloodstream. But was amazed to see result which was the opposite of sepsis, but with one drawback that the peptides also caused allergy like reactions and killed healthy intestinal cells. Amazed by this experience, Hancock and his team made shorter peptides that they hoped would prevent sepsis without causing other complications. And the result of their effort is the innate defense regulator (IDR-1), consisting of 13-amino-acid peptide. IDR-1 does not directly kill the bacteria, instead it cautions the prime immune response of a body known as innate immunity. Once the innate immunity is stimulated, it guards our body for any subsequent infections by way of sending surplus white blood cells called monocytes and macrophages to gobble up invading pathogens but fewer of the sepsis inducing neutrophils. Hancock has co-founded a company to commercialize IDR-1, and he expects the clinical trials of IDR-1 to begin in 12 to 15 months. Hancock’s study has put our immune system in the fore-ground, in our battle against harmful bacterias. Online Behavior

Biological therapy is the latest answer to cancer

The other day when I came across the term Biological therapy, it made me wonder what it is. It is a form of therapy that uses body’s ‘own immune system’ to fight a disease. In other words, natural body substances are used to fight diseases.In this case, we will be looking at how the immune system fights cancer. Cancer can occur anywhere in the body when extra cells develop i.e. they grow where they shouldn’t. Cancer spreads quickly because, once the extra cells develop, they can spread quickly. In order to prevent these cells from growing, certain therapies like chemotherapy are used. It is a form of biological therapy. Biological therapy uses biological response modifiers (BRM’s), which concentrates on specific drugs. Antibodies and cytokines are examples of BRM’s. Here’s a few examples of biological therapies: *Interferons or IFN’s are drugs that imitate the cytokines. This kind of therapy can also transform cancerous cell to normal growth cells. The IFN alpha was one of the first immunotherapy that treated cancer. *Interleukins stimulate or rather instigate White blood cells to fight cancer. These elements help the body attack cancerous cells. So, these are the good guys. IL2 is used for kidney cancer. *Monclonal antibodies helps the body distinguish between cancerous cells and normal blood cells. These are manufactured in the medical labs from a single cell of a human antibody. Wow! I think that is unique. *Cancer vaccines: Vaccines do fall under the biological therapy as well. Vaccines are normally allowed to prevent the disease. But, in case of cancer vaccines, they can only be administered after a person is detected with cancer. Epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) drugs help prevent the growth of harmful cancer cells. There are also a few other types of biological treatments. These bio therapy drugs are administered to the human body in various ways. The medications can be taken alone or in combination with other treatments. Whatever it is and however they may work, they have one common goal: to reduce, prevent and eliminate cancer. Image Credits: Wetpaint