Skin Cancer: See and Destroy Strategy

Kaposi's sarcoma comes packaged with the KSHV ORF45 protector

(RxWiki News) Visible lesions caused by Kaposi's sarcoma can reveal that someone may be ill with AIDS. Researchers are trying to take away a viral shield and let the immune system "see and destroy" the Kaposi's sarcoma virus.

Researchers from Florida State University are developing new ways to encourage one's own body to fight the Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV) which causes Kaposi's sarcoma. Somehow, the KSHV ORF45 protein sheilds the virus from the immune system, enabling the KSHV to thrive.

"Ask your doctor how immune systems naturally protect the body."

Biologist P. Bryant Chase, chairman of the Florida State University Department of Biological Science shares the key to Dr. Zhu's research at this point is a protector protein called KSHV ORF45. This discovery includes the presence of the protein with each new virus.

Chase explained that infectious agents and infected cells are typically pinpointed and then removed by our immune system.

"Dr. Zhu’s group has shown that the KSHV
 ORF45 protein plays a role in preventing the immune system from recognizing
 infected cells and removing them.” said Chase.

Zhu’s research team has already found that the KSHV ORF45 protein interrupts the natural signaling pathways within healthy cells that are critical for a cell’s regulation and health.

Now, his latest grant will help him to clarify the KSHV ORF45 protein’s role not only within cellular signaling pathways but also in immune evasion. 

Regardless of successful antiretroviral therapies for HIV, Kaposi's sarcoma remains a serious disease that accounts for almost half of the cancer cases in Africa. It is also the most common cancer among HIV/AIDS patients.

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Review Date: 
June 2, 2011