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AP Biology Prezi

March 15, 2011
by

Tony Khoury

on 15 March 2011

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Transcript of AP Biology Prezi

Allergic to Cancer Recent studies have found that there is there a connection between cancer and allergies and the basis for that connection is the immune system. The immune system includes many different kinds of specialized cells which protect us from disease by killing foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites. In the case of allergy, the immune system becomes hyper-sensitive to a certain substance and immune cells overreact to that substance, causing inflammation and allergy symptoms (work of histamines). In the case of cancer, the immune system often under reacts due to cancer cells simply being nothing more than normal cells with damaged DNA. The immune system does not attack many cancer cells because they appear as "self" rather than dangerous foreign invaders like bacteria. A recent study claims that people with hay fever, dog, peanut and other allergies tend to have a lower risk of developing glioma, a rarer but deadlier form of cancer. Glioma is a brain tumor that begins in the nervous system's glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes), which support the signal-conducting neurons. Malignant gliomas are the most common primary tumors of the central nervous system that affects the brain and spine. These tumors are often resistant to treatment and carry a poor prognosis. A new research now suggests that people who have more types of allergies tend to have a lower risk of developing glioma. To reach their findings, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) analyzed data collected from 419 glioma patients as well as 612 patients with no history of cancer or neurodegenerative diseases. In the survey, carried out via telephone or web-based strategies, lead researchers and colleagues asked the participants about a host of allergies i.e. seasonal, medication, pet, and food, as well as a number of other allergies, years since diagnosis, and age at diagnosis.
After analyzing the data, the research team found that those who had more types of allergies- to food, pollen and pets- were less likely to develop either high-grade or low-grade gliomas than those who weren’t allergic to anything. More precisely, of the 75 patients who had low-grade brain tumors, just 20 patients or 27 percent reported having any allergies while of the 612 healthy patients, 282 or 46 percent reported having any type of allergies. The more allergies you have, the more protected you were.
Also for their study, the researchers also recorded regular use of medications of the participants for two years or more before the survey, along with details of the brand, frequency, and duration of medication. The data showed that the use of antihistamines, including the potential neurocarcinogen diphenhydramine hydrochloride, was not associated with glioma risk. The study confirms that there is a relationship between the immune system of allergy sufferers and glioma risk. A comprehensive study of allergies and antihistamine use with standardized questions and biological markers is essential to further explain the biological mechanism that may be involved in brain tumor development. Glioma isn’t the first cancer to be negatively correlated with common allergies, says Michael Scheurer, an epidemiologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Allergy-prone people may fight off colorectal and pancreatic cancer, and even childhood leukemia, better than sniffles-free people, according to some studies. At the other end of the spectrum, allergies that cause asthma may spur lung tumors.
Glioma isn’t the first cancer to be negatively correlated with common allergies. Allergy-prone people may fight off colorectal and pancreatic cancer, and even childhood leukemia, better than sniffles-free people, according to some studies.

Just why these links exist isn’t clear but scientists still can hypothesize about how they coexist. Allergy sufferers mount heightened immune responses to some foreign or dangerous cells and chemicals and cancer cells are certainly dangerous. Human immune systems naturally seek them out. The immune systems in people with allergies may just do it better. Allergy-prone people have an overactive immune system, and maybe that’s been protecting them from the development of tumors. Recent studies have shown that there is a high probability that there a connection between cancer and allergies. And the basis for that connection is the immune system, our body's self-defense system. The immune system includes many different kinds of specialized cells which protect us from disease by killing foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites.
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