Allergy - Cancer DNA
July 17th 2005
In the July 15th Issue of Cancer Research, Dr. Judith
Schwartzbaum reported that people with asthma and allergies were at a
lower risk of developing the most common type of malignant brain tumor. Dr.
Schwartzbaum told Best Syndication " Drugs (allergy drugs) that block
the products of these genes may block protection so maybe there are new
cases of allergy (and not just better diagnosis) but treatment is
blocking protection from this condition."
It is possible that the same genes that cause the allergic or asthma
disorder may protect against the deadly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)
brain tumors. Dr. Schwartzbaum told Best Syndication in regards to
the DNA findings "Your observation suggests it is the genetic
variants themselves (no short term changes in these) rather than the
diseases." She told us it may not be the Genes themselves, but the
allergic reaction that protects the individual.
According to the Doctor, “We identified
five single nucleotide polymorphisms on three genes
previously associated with asthma, and one gene associated with
inflammation”. People with genes identified with asthma and allergies
were less likely to develop GBM.
The researchers compared 111 people with GBM to a
control group of 422 without. The researcher’s conclusions were based
on comparing the DNA samples between the two groups.
Dr. Schwartbaum (Division of
Epidemiology and Biometrics, School of Public Health, Ohio State
University) hopes that the study will help in our
understanding of the immune system's role in cancer. There are several
possibilities as to why people with allergies are less likely to
contract GBM (gliomas).
It is possible that certain genes that cause allergies
help regulate chemical messengers called cytokines. These messengers
control the actions of the cells that drive the immune system. It is
possible these chemicals share a common pathway within the immune
It is also possible that the immune response in people
with asthma and allergies may help protect them from brain tumors. If
this is the case, Schwartzbaum says this would be great finding.
WebMD reported that the doctor questions how
aggressively allergies and asthma should be treated. “Obviously, people
can die from asthma. It is a serious disease that needs to be treated.
But it could be that a little bit of hay fever may be a good thing."
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system. A
small amount of allergen (substance the person is allergic to) can cause
a huge immune response. The sufferer may develop sneezing, watery eyes,
itchy rashes and swelling of the lips and tongue.
Studies have found one in four people suffer from
allergies. This ratio is increasing by about 5% a year, and about half
of the sufferers are children. A recent study found that asthma and
wheezing in children under five years of age has almost doubled since
Each year, 41,000 Americans are diagnosed with a brain
tumor, and GBM accounts for 23 percent of them. Most of the cases occur
in the elderly. It is interesting that many children can outgrow
allergies, and most allergies develop before the age of 40.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: Brane canser alergy asma