May 29, 2015 – Asthma and Prostate Cancer


Anchor lead:  Men with asthma don’t face a higher risk of lethal prostate cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Asthma is known to be driven by inflammation, and inflammation is also a factor in cancer.  But now a Johns Hopkins study has shown that contrary to expectation, men with asthma actually have a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer than men without asthma.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says the study reveals yet another complexity to our immune systems.

Nelson: The immune response to infections, the immune response to damaged tissues, the immune response to abnormal cells that arise during the development of cancer, are all very complex with many different cellular components, we’re just beginning to learn them, doing better at controlling autoimmune diseases, better at using immunotherapies to treat cancer, and hopefully better at understanding how the immune system has allowed a cancer to form in the first place.  :28

Nelson says each observation such as this one allows researchers to formulate the next study more precisely as a better picture of the immune system emerges.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.