thymic decline

psycler at psycler at
Tue Oct 4 01:21:41 EST 1994

w95_cook at wrote:
: In a previous article, poczatek pete s <bubbie at> wrote:
: >Does anyone know of any research being done to see if there is a link 
: >between thymic decline and the incidence of tumors/cancer. I am doing a 
: >research project concetrating on whether the increase in cancer rate 
: >among the 'elderly' is due to thymic decline/degeneation, indicating that 
: >lymphocytes (particularly T) playa regulatory role in controlling 
: >cancer.  Any leads to past/continuing research or data would be greatly 
: >appreciated.

: I'm not aware of any studies looking at this in particular.  However, work
: with the nude mouse has shown that while these mice are indeed more
: susceptible to certain tumors, such as lymphoreticular cancers, most
: forms of cancer seem not to be affected by the lack of T cells.  Presumably
: NK's and other less specific effector pathways are capable of compensating
: for the lack of T cells.

: I can't seem to recall who the authors were, but at the Keystone conference
: in April, I know I saw one poster presentation looking at T cell repertoires
: in individuals >80 yrs.  I believe they found only subtle differences in the
: population of 80 y.o.'s compared to younger adults.  If I can find this
: reference, I'll let you know.

When you say repertoires, are you referring to V-beta families?
How would this indicate the absence or loss of an antigen-specific
clone?  I'm trying to figure out how one could even scan the total
possible TCR repertoire with regard to antigen specificity.

Also I've read several studies on melanoma and T cell regulation. 1994
and before.  Offhand most recently I remember something in J exp med.
Try a medline search. (Knowledge finder)
          Psycler  @T@~                                      

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