Protein fuels inflammation in pancreatic and breast tumors

Feb 21, 2011

Separate studies published online on February 21 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine identify a protein that drives tumor-promoting inflammation in pancreatic and breast tumors.

Inflammatory reactions come in several flavors—Th1 and Th2, for example—each classified according to the proteins, or cytokines, that predominate. Tumors are often infiltrated with cells that produce Th2 cytokines, which some studies suggest drive tumor growth. However, the signals responsible for initiating and maintaining Th2 inflammation in tumors are not fully understood.

Karolina Palucka and colleagues now find that human breast cancer cells release the cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and that TSLP drives Th2 inflammation in human . Maria Pia Protti and coworkers report that TSLP derived from fibroblasts—cells that provide support to tumors—fuels Th2 inflammation in human pancreatic tumors.

Although the cellular sources of TSLP differ between the two tumor types examined in these studies, the end result—Th2 inflammation—is the same. Future work is needed to determine if therapies targeting TSLP can help to block tumor growth.

Explore further: AstraZeneca cancer drug, companion test approved

More information: Pedroza-Gonzalez, A., et al. 2011. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20102131
De Monte, L., et al. 2011. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20101876

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Identified: Switch that turns on allergic disease in people

Jan 20, 2010

A new study in human cells has singled out a molecule that specifically directs immune cells to develop the capability to produce an allergic response. The signaling molecule, called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), is ...

Infiltrating cancer's recruitment center

Jan 26, 2011

The most common connective tissue cell in animals is the fibroblast, which plays an important role in healing wounds. But Dr. Neta Erez of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine has now demonstrated that fibroblasts ...

Neighboring immune-system genes: Maintaining independence

Jan 31, 2011

As part of the immune response to foreign antigens, naïve T cells mature into different types of helper T cells. TH1 cells and TH17 cells, for example, secrete a subset of signaling factors known as cytokines ...

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.