Vaccine-induced macrophages open a new realm of study into remodeling the immune system to reduce the risk of infections during cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy wipes out cancerous cells and dividing normal cells alike, often particularly damaging those in bone marrow that produce white blood cells. As a patient’s immune system is weakened, even minor infections can become life-threatening. Researchers are exploring ways to circumvent this problem by “remodeling” the immune system prior to chemotherapy.
Unlike other immune cells, these vaccine-induced macrophages from a mouse’s lung manage to withstand chemotherapy treatment.
The future plan is to induce lung tissue [immune] remodeling to compensate for bone marrow suppression after chemotherapy.” Immunology researcher Sandro Vento of Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan pointed out in an email to The Scientist that the animal-model work is only preliminary.
Newly Found White Blood Cell Withstands Chemotherapy