Cytokines and its relation to Autoimmune diseases and immunotherapy for Cancer

Aneisha White


Autoimmunity plays a major role in prevalent diseases like rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, and Vitiligo. The immune system has innate and adaptive responses towards antigens and pathogens. When the body fail to recognize between self and pathogens, it can lead to an array of issues such as inflammation, organ failure, and tissue damage. Cancer is another consequence of the lack of check and balance brought on by the immune system. The relation between these two conditions lies within the molecular biology of the immune system one example in particular, Cytokines. Cytokines are signals sent between immune cells which can help with the production of antibodies brought on by T-cell receptors and B cells.  The immune system does a near perfect job with distinguishing between oneself. However, through the adaptive immune system, there can be a mistake in distinguishing between the two, thus sometimes resulting in the production of cytokines that lead to tissue damage and inflammation. (M. Kostine,). It Is imperative for the immune system to keep the use of cytokines extremely in check.  Conversely, the use of cytokines in cancer treatments has been a major breakthrough for treating certain cancers like melanoma and Renal Cancer. Utilizing the body’s immune system to treat cancer is a hallmark of immunotherapy, However, the way immunotherapy effects the immune system results in responses that are very similar to autoimmunity. Cytokines may be the correlation to how Cancer is treated with immunotherapy and the prognosis of autoimmune diseases.

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