It has been found that the chances of cancer increases with age. However, the mechanism is still not clear why the number of cancers increase after 65 years of age. One or more of the following events are thought to be related to the increased chances of cancer:
- Exposure to carcinogens
- Accumulation of mutations
- Change in immune function
[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /] Researchers have found that many of the therapeutic strategies work better in young patients of cancer but are not able to work in older patients. We must have to overcome those difficulties, so that older patients of cancer could also get proper treatments.
Old T-cells are more dysregulated than the new T-cells but it is still to work further why this happens? Why T-cell tolerance is affected by aging?
Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO) is a molecule that inhibits immune cells. Researchers have found that IDO is upregulated in older animals but it is still not clear why IDO shows increase responses in older age? But its increase is thought to be linked to decrease in T-cell responses in old ages.
Research can be done on the expression of the B7-family receptors and CD28-family receptors. It has been suggested that “differential expression of the B7 receptors could modulate or interfere with the effector function of T cells and modify regulation of immune responses.” Researchers have “hypothesized that the expression of B7-H1 could impair the proper activation of old CD8+ T cells and that blockade of B7-H1/PD1 interaction could enhance or restore the old CD8+ T cell responses.”
Researchers have reported that up to now very less information have been collected on the “immune responses against self tumor antigens in the aging population.” Moreover, work has to be done on the evaluation of the antitumor immune responses in those old tumor models in which tolerance and spontaneous tumor progression are present side by side.
We must have to remember that the therapeutic strategy that will treat cancer in young and older patients equally will be a great hit.
Cheryl E. Myers, Noweeda N. Mirza and Joseph Lustgarten, (2011). Immunity, Cancer and Aging: Lessons from Mouse Models. Aging and Disease, 2(6), 512-523.