Veterinary researcher studies how immune systems fight lung cancer


Ramping up immune defenses in response to bacteria may hold promise for humans

East Lansing, Mich. – Your body's immune system may be a key to lowering your risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary ailments, according to Alison Bauer, an assistant professor at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Bauer is using a $720,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to study the benefit of immune responses in stopping the development of chronic inflammatory lung diseases that can lead to lung cancer.

“Activation of certain components of the immune system—namely the part of our immune system that responds first to an injury, or the innate immune system— may provide protection against lung cancer development," Bauer says.

Bauer is using laboratory mice to explore previous research that farmers and textile workers exposed to a bacterial component called endotoxin were at less risk to develop lung problems.

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