Embryonic cells can invade the mother's body and protect him from breast cancer.
Reading aloud Unborn babies can protect their mothers from breast cancer when some of their cells invade the maternal bloodstream. This conclusion is drawn from American researchers in a small study in which they examined mothers with and without breast cancer. Fewer childlike cells were found in the blood of ill women after pregnancy than in healthy test persons. The researchers suspect that these cells make an active contribution to combating cancer. Alternatively, however, it may be that they only stimulate and strengthen the mother's immune system, according to Vijayakrishna Gadi's team from the University of Washington in Seattle. If fetal stem cells cross the placenta during pregnancy and enter the maternal bloodstream, can they then survive for years in the mother's skin, liver, brain or spleen? a phenomenon called fetal microchimerism. What consequences this cell mixture has for the organism is not yet known exactly. However, both positive effects, such as the repair of damaged tissue, as well as negative consequences such as the emergence of autoimmune diseases are discussed. Another health-promoting effect could also be the protection against breast cancer, now show the new results.

Gadi and his team looked for fetal cells in the blood of 99 women, 54 of them breast cancer patients. They found what they were looking for in 56 percent of the healthy women and only 26 percent of the ill women. Also, significantly fewer cells were detectable in the cancer patients than in the control group. The results may explain why, although there is a protective effect of pregnancies, but this does not occur in every woman, explain the researchers. Gadi also believes that he has identified the mechanism of action in another small study: After a vaccine to stimulate the immune system of breast cancer patients, fetal cells were found in two out of eight women. This indicates that the treatment has activated the cells or stimulated their proliferation and then subsequently turned into immune cells, he explains.

Since these cells are basically alien to the organism, they attack degenerated endogenous cells more efficiently than their own immune system. A similar principle is also used in stem cell and bone marrow transplants: Here, the transplanted into the body foreign immune cells also ensure efficient control of degenerated tissue parts. For the researcher, therefore, the targeted propagation of fetal cells is a promising approach for cancer prevention.

Vijayakrishna Gadi (University of Washington at Seattle) et al .: New Scientist, May 3, p. 10 ddp / science.de? Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement

© science.de

Recommended Editor'S Choice