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New Knowledge Gained on the Onset of Autoimmune Diseases and Cancer

Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that in patients treated for cancer or autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system can turn hostile if an important molecule is missing in the protective T-cells.

The results of the study are published in April 2011 issue of the Journal of Autoimmunity.

The knowledge gained from the research helped the experts to know how the body learns not to attack the healthy cells of the body. This is especially the case when the immune system is restarted using stem cell transplantation.

Absence of this molecule in the T-cells of the immune system is found to cause the onset of autoimmune diseases like diabetes and lupus.

The research was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the Alberta Diabetes Institute. Further research is focused on knowing more about the mechanism behind the discovery.

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