Thursday, July 6, 2000
By SUN MEDIA
TORONTO -- A group of Toronto scientists has discovered a genetic key that could lead to better treatment for cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
"Basically, we have found a new way to control the immune system," Klaus Hoeflich, a member of the Ontario Cancer Institute research team, said yesterday.
During a five-year study, researchers proved the gene GSK-3 beta acts as a switch, telling cells how to react to infection.
In inflammatory and auto-immune disorders the gene is mistakenly turned on, sending out an enzyme that orders the immune system to attack healthy cells.
The finding could possibly pave the way for new drugs to treat diseases like AIDS, some types of cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Crohn's disease, asthma, and chronic arthritis, Hoeflich said.
The report is published in the July 6 issue of the scientific journal