Peptic ulcer bacterium may alter the body’s defense system, study suggests
NEW YORK The discovery that Helicobacter pylori survives in the body by manipulating important immune system cells may lead to a new treatment strategy against the common peptic ulcer bacterium, according to a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy.
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that lives predominantly in the stomach and can lead to peptic ulcers and develop into stomach cancer. About half of the world’s population carries the bacterium, though most infected individuals never experience any symptoms. On average, around 10% get peptic ulcers and around 1% develop stomach cancer.
“Carriers were often infected as children and if not treated with antibiotics, the bacterium remains in the body for life. The immune system alone is unable to eliminate the bacterium, and now we understand better why,” said biologist Bert Kindlund, the author of the thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy.
Regulatory T-cells down-regulate the body’s defence against Helicobacter pylori and enable the bacterium to develop a chronic infection.
“If we could control the regulatory T cells, we could strengthen the immune system and help the body eliminate the bacterium. This could be a new treatment strategy against Helicobacter pylori,” Kindlund continued.
Researchers are hopeful that such information will ultimately help discovery a treatment to stomach cancer.
LIVE FROM MARKETPLACE: Tears of joy
WOBURN, Mass. Dubbed as the potential “next generation” of dry eye products, Advanced Vision Research is working toward a spring 2010 launch of its TheraTears Xtra.
The new dry eye solution contains trehalose, and all-natural ingredient with high water-retention capabilities. And while “trehalose” may not mean much to consumers, this will — TheraTears Xtra makes their dry eyes feel better faster and longer.
LIVE FROM MARKETPLACE: Mederma launches stretch mark therapy
GREENSBORO, N.C. Shipping in January 2010, Merz Pharmaceuticals is branching its Mederma scar brand out into a new area that ought to find quite a bit of traction among both new moms and female baby boomers — Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy. According to Merz, 85% of women have stretch marks.