Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elderly Immune System Needs A Boost: Older Cancer Sufferers Need Treatments Tailored To Their Aging Immune Systems

Date:
October 14, 2009
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Elderly cancer patients need a combination of treatments tailor-made to their specific needs to successfully combat the disease. A new review examines the effects of aging on the immune system and strategies used to activate a stronger antitumor immune response in the elderly, including genetic modifications in animal models.

Elderly cancer patients need a combination of treatments tailor-made to their specific needs to successfully combat the disease. The challenge is to boost their immune response to cancer vaccines, because like the rest of our organs, our immune system ages and gradually becomes less efficient as we get older.

Dr. Joseph Lustgarten, from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in the US, reviews the effects of aging on the immune system and strategies used to activate a stronger antitumor immune response in the elderly, including genetic modifications in animal models. His findings1 have just been published in the latest issue of Springer’s journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy.

Aging of the immune system coincides with higher rates of cancer in the elderly. There is a wealth of research on the effects of harnessing the power of the body’s own immune defences to recognize and destroy tumors (immunotherapy), yet very little of this work takes into account the effects of aging on the immune system. Older individuals do not respond to vaccine therapy as well as younger adults.

Dr. Lustgarten’s paper summarizes some of the defects found in the old immune system which affect antitumor responses; strategies used to improve the efficiency of older people’s immune response; and the use of animal models to identify how it might be possible to manipulate the old immune system, for more effective immunotherapeutic interventions in older patients.

Vaccination strategies that effectively stimulate antitumor immune responses in both younger and older patients are dependent on combining different therapies. The therapies must keep the balance between activating a safe and effective antitumor immune response and inducing an autoimmune reaction.

Dr Lustgarten concludes: “The immune system of the elderly is very different from the young and it is difficult to extrapolate results obtained in the young, for use in the old. Our job in the next few years is to figure out how to robust the old immune system by understanding, at a molecular level, its intrinsic defects to properly stimulate antitumor responses. Only then can we successfully customize tumor vaccines to be effective for the treatment of tumors in the old.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lustgarten J. Cancer, aging and immunotherapy: lessons learned from animal models. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, 2009; 58 (12): 1979 DOI: 10.1007/s00262-009-0677-8

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Elderly Immune System Needs A Boost: Older Cancer Sufferers Need Treatments Tailored To Their Aging Immune Systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008113301.htm>.
Springer. (2009, October 14). Elderly Immune System Needs A Boost: Older Cancer Sufferers Need Treatments Tailored To Their Aging Immune Systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008113301.htm
Springer. "Elderly Immune System Needs A Boost: Older Cancer Sufferers Need Treatments Tailored To Their Aging Immune Systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008113301.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins