Immune cells can help predict patient outcomes

29 Aug 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment

Red White Blood cells 100x100 Immune cells can help predict patient outcomesIt’s no secret that our immune systems are our defenders — but they also make good predictors, too. According to new research, the levels of different types of immune cells in the body can help predict mesothelioma patient outcomes.

Researchers with the University of Southampton in the UK used a series of tests on 302 tissue samples from people with malignant mesothelioma to examine immune response cells, including T-cells, B-cells, neutrophils, natural killer cells and macrophages. Each cell type plays a slightly different role in the body’s immune system. Cell levels were then compared to find associations between the outcomes of patients with different subtypes of mesothelioma and  the levels of particular immune response cells present in their tissue, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

The news source reports high levels of T-cell CD4+ and B-cell CD20+ and low levels of T-cell FOXP3+, macrophages and neutrophils were associated with better patient outcomes for those with the epithelioid mesothelioma subtype. FOXP3+ counts were the only independently associated cell counts with positive patient outcomes in both people who did and did not have the epithelioid mesothelioma subtype. “Our data demonstrate for the first time, in predominately advanced disease, the association of key markers of adaptive and innate immunity with survival and the differential effect of histology [subtype],” according to the study.

Since immunotherapies, cancer medicines that work by altering the immune system, are “emerging as one of the most hopeful methods of treating — and perhaps even curing — malignant mesothelioma,” researchers’ next step will be determining how the study’s results translate to individuals, according to the news source.

 

 

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