Chemical released during allergic reaction could be linked to preventing spread of tumours
Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division has recently awarded just over $180,000 in funding to Dalhousie researcher Dr. Jean Marshall. Dr. Marshall and her team will examine the effects of histamine and anti-histamine drugs in the context of cancer research and the spread of tumours.
Canadian Cancer Society's Innovation Grant is new this year and supports unconventional concepts, approaches or methodologies to address problems in cancer research.
There is literature indicating that individuals with some types of allergies may be more protected from cancer than those without allergies. Dr. Marshall's team of researchers will investigate whether or not higher levels of histamine released in the body or drugs taken to combat histamine’s actions have anything to do with that.
Mast cells in the body release histamine when they detect a foreign antigen. The histamine itself is what causes redness, itchiness and some of the other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Anti-histamine drugs are currently widely prescribed to help minimize some side effects of chemotherapy.
“The chemical called histamine has a profound effect on the immune system. Our research will look at the impact histamine may have on the spread of tumours. It’s the first time our lab will be looking at histamine in the context of cancer.” -- Dr. Jean Marshall, principal investigator and head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology
“Canadian Cancer Society locally has been very, very supportive. They’ve gone above and beyond in terms of supporting research and trainees here in Nova Scotia. This research is important because ultimately we want to find better ways to prevent and treat cancer.” -- Dr. Jean Marshall, principal investigator and head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology
“We are delighted that Dr. Marshall’s research project has been chosen for funding. Nova Scotia has a tremendously talented research community, important research is happening right here at home.” -- Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO of Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division.
Dr. Jean Marshall in her lab with Sharon Oldford, a postdoctoral research fellow and co-author of the grant.