Studying the potential role for stress hormones and prostaglandins on TGF-β metastasis promoting effects, in experimental and spontaneous liver metastasis models – Led by Liat Sorski

Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) is a super-family comprised of a large group of extracellular factors controlling multiple aspects of cellular development. This study will focus on the involvement of TGF-β in the development of liver metastases, and the potential contribution of stress conditions – both physiological and psychological – to TGF-β’s deleterious effects during the advanced stages of liver metastatic development....

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Studying the mechanism underlying prostaglandin E2’s ability to suppress NK-cell cytotoxicity – Led by Gili Meron & Yana Tishler

Potential mechanisms through which stress and surgery can suppress NK activity have been studied in vitro and in vivo, and substantial evidence support the involvement of various factors, among them are catecholamines, glucocorticoids (corticosterone) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), all of which are elevated during the perioperative period.  Prostaglandin E2 is locally synthesized following tissue damage, and was shown to suppress NK activity in...

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Identifying and abolishing the deleterious effects of stress on CpG-C induced immuno-stimulation in mice – Led by Pini Matzner

Immune stimulation therapy is gaining momentum along the last decade. Improved agents, including the immuno-stimulatory CpG-C ODN, have been recently developed, and were shown to efficiently “shift” the immune system towards a pro-inflammatory state, while causing minimal adverse effects. We have recently established a reliable model, showing robust immuno-stimulatory effects of CpG-C (a new stimulatory agent) in mice, but also found...

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Studying the effects of stress and surgery on plasma IL-12 levels, and their underlying mechanisms – Led by Lee Shaashua

Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a major pro-inflammatory cytokine, which promotes cell-mediated immunity and TH1 differentiation. This study (i) examines the in vivo effects of various behavioral stress paradigms on baseline plasma IL-12 levels; (ii) examines the in vivo effects of surgery (laparotomy) on plasma IL-12 levels; and (iii) explores the underlying mechanisms of the deleterious effects of stress and surgery on IL-12 levels.

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Studying the effects of continuous stress on the efficacy of immune stimulation – Led by Ben Levi

Immune stimulation by biological response modifiers (BRMs) (e.g. IL-12, CpG) is a common approach in tumor immunotherapy. BRMs were found effective in various animal studies, but clinical trials showed limited success. However, among other differences, animal models do not simulate psychological stress while employing BRMs, whereas cancer patients often experience distress while treated with immunostimulants. Thus, the focus of this project is...

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COMPIT – Colorectal Metastasis Prevention Israeli Trial – Led by Prof. Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu and Dr. Oded Zmora

The COMPIT is a clinical trial initiated at 2012 which studies a new drug regimen aimed to prevent post-surgical long-term colorectal cancer metastasis and recurrence. The COMPIT is now recruiting patients at “Sheba” Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel, and will be extended to other leading Israeli and European centers in the near future. For more information, see the COMPIT website...

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