The immune system’s response to allergies may reduce the risk of developing deadly brain tumours, a new study has suggested.
People with somewhat elevated blood levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), antibodies that carry out the body’s immune response to allergens, were significantly less likely to develop gliomas, and those who did survived somewhat longer, than those with clinically normal IgE levels, according to the study by a team of researchers at Brown University and several other institutions in the United States and Europe.
“These results suggest that there is something different about the immune response to tumor cells in people with allergies,” said corresponding author Dominique Michaud, associate professor of epidemiology in the Public Health Program at Brown University.
“In terms of fighting the cancer or preventing it from growing, people who have allergies might be protected. They might be able to better to fight the cancer,” he added.
Michaud said that by strengthening the evidence that allergic immune response may affect brain tumors, the study may encourage cancer researchers to focus on the biological mechanisms underlying this association and provide insight into the disease and its treatment.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.