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HISTAMINES TO TREAT CANCER

In May, 2000, scientists will present data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, that will show that histamine helps prolong the lives of people suffering from malignant melanoma, one of the most deadly types of skin cancers.

Most treatments for cancers kill all cells, not just cancers, so scientists have been looking for a magic bullet that kills only cancer cells. Interleukin-2 and interferon alpha are two chemicals that cause natural killer and T cells to seek out and kill cancer cells, but they also stimulate T suppresser cells that shut down immunity.

Scientists have been looking for a way to stimulate natural killer cells without also stimulating T suppressor cells. In 1980, Dr. Kristoffer Hellstrand at the University of Goteberg in Sweden showed that histamine prevents T suppresser cells from shutting down immunity, allowing natural killer cells to do their job of killing cancer cells. This recent research raises concern that antihistamines used to treat allergies may allow cancer cells to spread. It will take much more research to see if histamine really prevents and treats cancers and if antihistamines help to bring on certain types of cancers.

Kurt Gehlson, Ph.D. Maxim Pharmaceuticals San Diego, Cal.

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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