Aging and immune wear
The loss of capacity or effective activity of our immune system over the years is a known fact with enormous repercussions for the body.
Immunosenescence, or aging of this defensive potential is related to the emergence of multiple diseases and disorders that have traditionally been attributed to old age.
This reality has been unequivocally seen, more than ever, during the SARS-Cov2, or COVID 19, pandemic, and is also related to responses to new strains of Coronavirus. The great difference in affectation between the young population and that of the so-called elderly, where the disease was devastating, showed a clear warning of the importance of seeking formulas and ways of acting to maintain the immune system and the defenses of the organisms with the greatest functionality. and capacity despite the passing of the years.
Other issues related to this area, but not less important, is the development of cancer in the elderly. Many of these tumors do not develop in the first 40 or 50 years of life, pathologies such as prostate, colon and rectal, lung, skin, bladder, brain and other cancers are seen much more frequently in elderly people or at least in the second half of life. And here immunosenescence also plays a role. It is known that the body forms cells with the potential to become tumors on a daily basis, but these deformed or altered cells are easily eliminated by our immune system, especially by T-lymphocytes in the years of better health. At the moment when our defenses are no longer optimal, it is when these oncological diseases begin to emerge and develop.
The scientific community has studied this for years, and one of the latest advances in precision medicine is CAR-T cell therapies.
What do these acronyms mean?
To put it briefly, it would be a T cell, or defense cell, with the developed capacity to recognize antigens (a foreign substance to the body). Cells Antigen Recognition T.
How important would this be?
It is known that with immunosenescence, the immune system loses its innate ability to recognize antigens or harmful substances, therefore, cancer cells that decades ago were easily eliminated, in advanced age stages can be an impossible task and consequently lead to the appearance of a malignant tumor. This type of current therapeutic approach is aimed at returning that innate defense capacity to the cells of the immune system, so that it can fight not only against cancer but also against infections and other diseases.
It is a fascinating area of research, but perhaps the time has come to treat cancer from within, from the strength of one’s own immune system and not only from external treatments and therapies.
That is the way science will go in the coming years.
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