immune system

Many may be wondering how exactly the immune system and cancer are interrelated. It’s quite complex given that it has taken decades of countless scientific research in search of the cure. The goal is to break this cancer into its basic mechanisms to fully understand its totality and appreciate its processes. In general, the immune system works by fighting against any harmful substances such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and cancer cells. Something important to note is that your own cells and immune system can and will betray you.

Pentoxifylline, sold under the brand name Trental is typically used for vascular disease to increase blood flow due to its effect in reducing blood viscosity.  However, there is a gene called c-Rel that is important to maintain the function of regulatory cells such as Tregs and MDSC.  As I have discussed, the immune system has two sides, one that is regulatory, which has been tricked by cancer to protect it.  There is the other side that can attack cancer.

Our goal is to tip the balance in favor of attacking cancer.   In a study published by Grinberg-Bleyer, et al in Cell, Sept 7, 2017, titled “NF-kB c-Rel Is Crucial for the Regulatory T Cell Immune Checkpoint in Cancer” they describe how blocking c-Rel can reduce the regulatory function of Tregs.  In addition, Li, et al published in Nature Cancer, May 18, 2020, an article titled “c-Rel is a Myeloid Checkpoint for Cancer Immunotherapy” which discusses MDSC.