Immunology to Fight Cancers?

David L. Haviland, Ph.D. haviland at KIDS.WUSTL.EDU
Wed Jan 31 17:38:54 EST 1996


On Wed, 31 Jan 1996, Ken Frauwirth wrote:

> In article <310D485C.58AC at helix.mgh.harvard.edu>,
> Michael Tomasson  <tomasson at helix.mgh.harvard.edu> wrote:
		S N I P
> >However, you need to do more reading and less pontificating.  SCID
> >mice, if left alone in their little sterile isolets, eating special
> >sterile food, perhaps do not spontaneously get cancers, but they
> >are quite often used in cancer research.  
> 
> There is another factor which I have not seen mentioned here yet: there is much
> more to the immune system than T and B cells, which are the only cells lost in
> SCID, RAG, nude (actually, these only lack T cells) mice.  Normal peripheral 
> blood is >5% natural killer (NK) cells, which were first characterized as 
> tumor killing cells.  

Ken brings up a number of interesting points.  One in particular was that 
if memory serves, I thought SCID mice were not as suseptable to tumors as 
originally thought.  In having a lack of T cells I vaguely remember the 
mice "compensated" by having a higher than normal NK activity - obviously 
not enough to be considered healthy as tumors can readily grow within 
them (hybridoma ascites) but they didn't just spontaneously develop them 
either, true?

Thanks,
David
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