Scientists might have found a way to activate the body’s “natural killer T cells” in the fight against cancer. The findings might lead to more effective treatments that stop cancer from spreading.
A new study, Dual Modifications of α-Galactosylceramide Synergize to Promote Activation of Human Invariant Natural Killer T Cells and Stimulate Anti-tumor Immunity which has recently been published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology — was led by chemistry professor Amy Howell, from the University of Connecticut in Mansfield.
Prof. Howell and her team sought a compound that would activate human immune cells called Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells for any years.
iNKT cells give our immune system crucial ammunition in the fight against infections but also against illnesses such as cancer, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Most of us know that fruit is good for us, and most of us even know that various berries contain certain compounds that are extra healthy, but could berries really help fight cancer?
Speak to any “health-nut” and they will say definitely, berries are the way to go for everything health-wise but it is not that clear-cut as to whether berries are as beneficial in combating cancer as one might think.
While nobody can dispute the fact that berries are extremely healthy, when it comes to cancer studies, some laboratory animal studies have offered hope, while observational studies in humans have not been so encouraging.
Let’s face it, a lovely colourful bowl full of berries is very pleasing to the eye, and to the palate too, and this is partially due to their pigments, or anthocyanins, which are particularly prevalent in blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants.
Little Fighter Kenzo Phillips was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in February 2016, at a mere 8 months of age.
Kenzo has gone through much in his short lifespan, including harsh chemotherapy treatments, and has seen more hospitals and doctors than any child should…
Earlier this month LFCT celebrated with Kenzo and his family at the news that, after his annual 4 weekly check-up – a full month after his final chemo treatment – His blood counts were perfect and the doctors were very happy – his Bone Marrow Biopsy also came back CLEAR!!!!!
Cancer is fickle however, and a mere FIVE DAYS later Kenzo was rushed to hospital with a terrible headache & vomiting.
Cancer is Not a Singular Experience, It’s Plural!
Whether it is adult cancer or Childhood Cancer, no matter how much it feels as if we are going through it alone, nothing could be further from the truth!
When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t only affect that specific individual, it affects many, and this is never truer than when it is a child that has been diagnosed with cancer.
The child is not the only one going through everything that this horrible disease causes – the parents, siblings, other family members and friends of the child and parents also experience it.
Having a Child with Cancer in the family places tons of stress on the whole family, and dealing with the illness can be devastating in many ways.
When a child is initially diagnosed with cancer, the parents generally go through various stages, which are rather akin to the stages that those who have lost someone goes through – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
For the lucky, after months, sometimes even years of dealing with rigorous treatments and all the other side-effects of both the cancer and the treatments, the child is declared NED – “No Evidence of Disease” and goes into remission.
Unfortunately, not all children are that lucky, and while we prefer not to think about it, comes a time in some Onco Parents’ lives that the conversation around death needs to be voiced, and this often also leads to a conversation around palliative care for the child.
While surfing the web I came across the beautiful and heartfelt poem “Mamas, We’re in This Together” written by Morgan Turpin, whose son was born with a life-threatening illness called Dravet Syndrome.
The disease causes frequent seizures beginning in infancy and cannot be cured. Turpin’s poem is an expression of the fear, frustration, and ultimately, hope that she feels as a mother of a child with a complex medical condition.
I think that this poem also expresses all the emotions that parents of a Child with Cancer go through, so thought it would be nice to share it on this blog and just remind all our Onco Parents that they are not alone….
Good Morning Families
A new day a new week and a renewed request for donations of new shoes and clothes for our Barefoot/Snug Project please.
We have so far received a few financial donations from schools and nothing else 😥
THIS IS NOW URGENT!!!
It is once again that time of the year when we ask you to go barefoot for a day so that our Children with Cancer do not have to!
Barefoot for a Day is an Annual Project that LFCT started in 2013, and every year we ask you to join us in collecting/donating shoes for our Little Fighters in hospital, at home and in Places of Safety.
This year we are combining our Barefoot for a Day project with our Snug as a Bug Project into one big project this year. That way we can make our deliveries to the hospital wards, day clinics and to our Little Fighters and their siblings at home before the chill of winter sets in, thereby avoiding any between-season or change-of-season sniffles, which are very dangerous for Children with Cancer with their impaired immune systems.
WE URGENTLY Need YOU To Donate/Collect NEW Shoes & NEW Warm Winter Clothing for our Little Fighters.
Get your Friends involved, get your Family involved, get your Work involved, get your School involved – just think how many people you know…. if only a few of them donate one item of clothing or one pair of shoes, or the financial equivalent, we will have MORE than enough for ALL our Little Fighters.
💞 SHARE THE LOVE 💞
This article was written by JANE BIEHL, PH.D. who has been a cancer survivor since 2010.
While this is written by an adult about adult cancer, it is just as pertinent to those who suffer from Childhood Cancer and also their Families who go through tremendous stress…
We deal with parents of Children with Cancer daily, and we see the fear, the doubt, the strength, the helplessness, the determination, the sadness, and all the other emotions that they experience throughout the months and years that their child fights this beast Cancer.
These Onco Parents are strong, and the fortitude that our Little Fighters display is also staggering, but one cannot hide or push down the emotions forever….
Parents and Children with Cancer need to allow themselves to express their emotions when they get too much or they stand that chance of being totally overwhelmed with a disease that devastates everything in its path!
The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders.
Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.
One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.
Leukocytes are produced or stored in many locations in the body, including the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow.
For this reason, they’re called the lymphoid organs. There are also clumps of lymphoid tissue throughout the body, primarily as lymph nodes, that house the leukocytes.
Some children who have been born without a limb or who have had a limb amputated feel pain in the non-existent body part. This is often called phantom pain. This pain is caused by damaged nerves from the amputated limb that continue to send signals to the brain. These signals are interpreted as pain.
While the pain the child experiences is not caused by an actual injury, the sensations are very real and can include burning or shooting pain, achiness or cramping, or pins-and-needles feelings.
The sensations of phantom pain are very real. Following an amputation, there are still nerves present in the remaining portion of the limb and these nerves send pain signals to the brain and tell the brain that the limb is still present.
Phantom limb pain is a well-recognised pain syndrome which can resolve on its own with time, but because pain can interfere with your child’s quality of life and decrease physical function, there are various treatments available.