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Inflammatory Disease

Scientists headed by ICREA researcher Angel R. Nebreda at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) report a new mechanism that contributes to the development of inflammation-associated colon cancer and points to new therapeutic targets. The study has been published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

More than a million people worldwide are diagnosed with colon cancer every year. Although many of these cases are spontaneous, chronic inflammation is one of the main causes underlying the development of this disease.

Still's disease is a serious orphan disease manifested by high fevers, skin and joint involvement, including paralysis, as well as damage to other organs such as the liver or spleen. It is caused by a deregulation of the immune system triggering an acute inflammatory response. Under the auspices of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), an international team has successfully tested a molecule inhibitor of interleukin-18, a protein involved in immune response.

Cancer therapies including radiation and chemotherapy seek to treat the disease by killing tumor cells. Now a team including researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have shown that the dead and dying cancer cells generated by chemotherapy and targeted cancer therapy paradoxically trigger inflammation that promotes aggressive tumor growth. In a study published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the team has illuminated the mechanism by which tumor cell death can drive primary tumor growth and metastasis.

The chronic oral inflammatory disease periodontitis may be associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) status in individuals with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), report researchers.

Their study findings show that among HNSCC patients, the odds for having HPV-positive tumors increased significantly with each millimeter of alveolar bone loss (ABL) - an established measure of periodontitis.

Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterium that is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Europe. Rates in sexually active young people are commonly between 5% and 10%. The number of diagnosed cases is increasing in many European  countries, in part due to increased testing and the use of more sensitive tests. People with genital chlamydia may experience symptoms of genital tract inflammation including urethritis and cervicitis, but the majority remains asymptomatic.

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