Scientists Discover How Mast Cells Fight, Destroy Germs

ROSEVILLE, Minn-What is being called a breaththrough discovery has been made at the Parker Hughes Cancer Center. Scientists have discovered a new element of the body's immune system that fights infection.

Reported in the journal Immunity, the researchers discuss the mechanism by which mast cells are responsible for helping the body fight bacteria. This previously unrecognized defense system could be boosted by nutritional supplements to fight infections more effectively.

Fatih Uckun, President and Director of the Parker Hughes Cancer Center, and co-author of the study, said the research could help fight infections.

"Antibiotic resistance is a world wide problem. We are excited about the possibility of using our body's own natural defense instead of antibiotics to prevent and treat infections," Uckun said. "This is a land mark study which will substantially increase the quality of life of cancer patients who need to take so many antibiotics while being treated with anti-cancer drugs."

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