Cancer – Chess Master

Cancer – Chess Master

Finding a strategy to combat cancer is like playing chess against a Grandmaster. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Allen: Increased inflammation is the hallmark of cancer. Increased inflammation produces lots of factors that the tumor thrives in.

Coy Allen is an Assistant Professor of Inflammatory Diseases at Virginia Tech’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He says that in the early stages, inflammation is prime real estate for tumors, but once a tumor has been established, the cancer changes its strategy.

Allen: CA During the early stages the tumor tends to favor a very inflammatory environment. Once it reaches a specific size, it begins to hide from the immune system.

In this stage the cancer begins to avoid areas of inflammation, and so
doctors shift their method of attack as well.

Allen: And so, what we’re trying to do is limit that inflammation during the early stages before the tumor’s become established. But once they have tumors, we would want to be able to induce inflammation.
By inducing the correct kind of inflammation, we hope that we can control the tumor, keep it from growing, keep it from metastasizing, or moving to different organs.
So, what we would be doing is developing a drug to reduce the amount of inflammation, which would in turn, hopefully, keep cancer from developing in the first place. And this is really important for patients that have chronic inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, where inflammation in the gut serves as a promoter of cancer.
Once the tumor becomes established, we would actually want to develop drugs that actually increase inflammation because in the tumor, once the cancer becomes more established once it grows it likes to hide from the immune system. And so, we would want to develop drugs to increase inflammation under those circumstances.

I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Cancer - Chess Master

Finding a strategy to combat cancer is like playing chess against a Grandmaster.
Air Date:06/29/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:

Cancer - Chess Master

Finding a strategy to combat cancer is like playing chess against a Grandmaster. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Allen: Increased inflammation is the hallmark of cancer. Increased inflammation produces lots of factors that the tumor thrives in.

Coy Allen is an Assistant Professor of Inflammatory Diseases at Virginia Tech's College of Veterinary Medicine. He says that in the early stages, inflammation is prime real estate for tumors, but once a tumor has been established, the cancer changes its strategy.

Allen: CA During the early stages the tumor tends to favor a very inflammatory environment. Once it reaches a specific size, it begins to hide from the immune system.

In this stage the cancer begins to avoid areas of inflammation, and so
doctors shift their method of attack as well.

Allen: And so, what we're trying to do is limit that inflammation during the early stages before the tumor's become established. But once they have tumors, we would want to be able to induce inflammation.
By inducing the correct kind of inflammation, we hope that we can control the tumor, keep it from growing, keep it from metastasizing, or moving to different organs.
So, what we would be doing is developing a drug to reduce the amount of inflammation, which would in turn, hopefully, keep cancer from developing in the first place. And this is really important for patients that have chronic inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, where inflammation in the gut serves as a promoter of cancer.
Once the tumor becomes established, we would actually want to develop drugs that actually increase inflammation because in the tumor, once the cancer becomes more established once it grows it likes to hide from the immune system. And so, we would want to develop drugs to increase inflammation under those circumstances.

I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.