Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Growing understanding of immune system a game-changer

Growing understanding of immune system a game-changer for human health


World-leading New Zealand immunologist Professor Graham Le Gros says we are on the cusp of exciting breakthroughs in our fight against disease as knowledge of our immune system grows exponentially.

The Director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research says the Day of Immunology, marked internationally on 29 April 2018, is a time to acknowledge the extraordinary potential and impact of immunology research underway here in New Zealand and across the globe.

“Immunology is the future of human health – it’s game changing. As we better understand how our immune system works, and how it can be harnessed to fight disease, we’re poised for new, gentler and more effective treatments for cancer, asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, gut disease and many other debilitating diseases.”

Prof. Le Gros says that vaccines and immunisations give a glimpse of the power of immunotherapy – teaching the immune system to fight disease by mimicking a natural infection.

“What is less well known, is that our immune system can also protect us from developing non-infectious diseases such as cancer. And research has shown that our immune system plays an important role in the development of allergic disorders and in many common disorders not traditionally viewed as immunologic, including metabolic and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

In 2017, the Malaghan Institute took the first step in developing New Zealand’s answer to the latest in cancer vaccines. CAR-T cell therapy is a revolutionary new approach to fighting cancer by redirecting a patient’s own immune cells to impart long-lasting protection against the disease.

“Later this year, through a collaboration with an international biotech group Hunan Zhoatai Medical Group, we’re aiming to conduct our first small CAR-T clinical trials, with the goal of developing a more effective and longer-lasting way to fight certain cancers.”

Prof. Le Gros says Malaghan Institute scientists were also studying the early life processes in the immune system that begin the over-active immune responses characteristic of eczema, allergies and asthma.

“We’re looking at the mechanisms that parasitic worms use to subdue the immune system because of their potential to dampen harmful inflammatory immune responses, such as those made in asthma and allergy.”

Understanding the virtuous relationship between the immune system, our food environment and the macro and microorganisms that live in and on us is also a key focus for the Institute in 2018.

“By undertaking research into the basic biology of the immune system and developing immunotherapies and vaccines that supercharge the immune system, or downregulate overactive immune responses, our scientists are striving to make a genuine difference to the way we treat disease in this country.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Real Estate: Foreign Buyers Ban Passes Third Reading

The Bill to put in place the Government’s policy of banning overseas buyers of existing homes has passed its third and final reading in the House. More>>

ALSO:

Nine Merger: Fairfax Slashes Value Of NZ Business

Fairfax Media Group more than halved the value of its Kiwi assets, attaching just A$40 million to mastheads that were once the core of a billion dollar investment. More>>

Collecting Scalpers: Commerce Commission To Sue Viagogo

The Commission will claim that Viagogo made false or misleading representations: • that it was an “official” seller, when it was not • that tickets were limited or about to sell out • that consumers were “guaranteed” to receive valid tickets for their event • about the price of tickets... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Fonterra CEO Goes Early After Milk Price Trimmed

Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative Group chief executive Theo Spierings is leaving the role early after the world's biggest dairy exporter lowered its farmgate payout and trimmed its dividend to retain cash. More>>

ALSO: