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Apr 27, 2009

Adjuvant IL-7 Boosts Vaccine-Induced Immune Response to Tumors

  • An international team of scientists found that after a vaccine-induced immune response, interleukin-7 (IL-7) improves antitumor activities and survival in an animal model of cancer.

    The findings are published in Nature Medicine in a paper called “Adjuvant IL-7 antagonizes multiple cellular and molecular inhibitory networks to enhance immunotherapies.”

    The scientists combined IL-7 with a viral vaccine and observed that together immunity to tumors was enhanced. They found that IL-6 production increased and T helper type 17 cell differentiation was augmented.

    Furthermore, IL-7 modulated the expression of two ubiquitin ligases: Casitas B-lineage lymphoma b (Cbl-b), a negative regulator of T-cell activation, was repressed, and SMAD-specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase-2 (Smurf2) was enhanced, which antagonizes transforming growth-factor signaling.

    The scientists also explain that while short-term IL-7 therapy potently enhanced vaccine-mediated immunity, in the absence of vaccination it is inefficient in promoting antitumor immune responses, despite inducing homeostatic proliferation of T cells.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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