Friday, August 22, 2014

Study Links Cancer to Myasthenia Gravis and Offers New Therapeutic Approach

Readers of this blog may be aware of  a study that we posted in 2013 linking myasthenia gravis to cancers other than of the thymus. Now, a year later, researchers at George Washington University, led by Dr. Linda Kusner have found more evidence - plus hope for a new treatment that approaches control of the disorder and hope for a cure in a novel way. The following article, based on the research, explains more details.

Source: George Washington University
This report also appeared  in Rheumatology Update and Science Daily.
Autoimmune disorders may share certain pathogenic mechanisms with cancer, according to a US research report.

Described as “paradigm shifting”, the research shows the same inhibitors of apoptosis in tumours are also expressed in cells that produce autoimmune diseases.

The researchers, led by Dr Linda Kusner of George Washington University (GW), discovered that survivin, an inhibitor of apoptosis, is also expressed in the lymphocytes of patients with the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, but not in normal individuals.

"We found that humans with myasthenia gravis also express survivin in autoreactive lymphocytes," said Dr Kusner. "We found these cells to be part of the dysfunction underlying the autoimmune disease."

Using a vaccine technique, the researchers were able to eliminate the survivin-expressing cells and demonstrate improvement in the animal models with myasthenia gravis.

Dr Kusner's laboratory will continue to work to improve the inhibition of survivin as targeted treatment for humans.

"This study opens a new therapeutic approach for myasthenia gravis, as well as other autoimmune disorders," said project collaborator Dr Henry Kaminski, chair of the Department of Neurology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

"Conventional therapies may improve the disease, but have numerous complications. This discovery may lead to a viable treatment option.”

No comments:

Post a Comment