[ RadSafe ] Does radiation induced immune response enhance spread of cancer?

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 25 12:37:42 CDT 2006

One of the arguements used to tout the benefits of low
dose ionizing radiation is that it enhances immune
response.  I thought the following was interesting.
>From the NYT Health section

Scientists Begin to Grasp the Stealthy Spread of

Published: August 15, 2006

. . .
Researchers are looking at a number of events that
occur in the microenvironment that give a cancer cell
a leg up as soon as it arrives. These changes involve
both normal cells that reside in that tissue and the
body’s roaming immune cells. 

“The tumor cells co-opt these cells to act in a way
that’s conducive for the growth of the metastasis,”
Dr. Massagué said.

There is evidence, for example, that a type of white
blood cell, the macrophage, may help initiate
colonization. It was once thought that high numbers of
macrophages found in metastatic cancer colonies were
there to do battle with the cancer. Now it is believed
that they somehow promote factors that help tumors
progress. Other normal cells are believed to make
enzymes that loosen the cellular structure of the new
host organ, making room for tumor cells to
. . .

>From an article about physicians doing clinical studies: 

"It was just before an early morning meeting, and I was really trying to get to the bagels, but I couldn't help overhearing a conversation between one of my statistical colleagues and a surgeon.

Statistician: "Oh, so you have already calculated the P value?"

Surgeon: "Yes, I used multinomial logistic regression."

Statistician: "Really? How did you come up with that?"

Surgeon: "Well, I tried each analysis on the SPSS drop-down menus, and that was the one that gave the smallest P value"."

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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