January 10, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 7

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    Immune system focus of Huggins series

    By Maja Fiket
    Medical Center Communications

    Learn about cancer and immune system interactions as well as cancer therapies from a University Medical Center expert in a series of eight free lectures beginning Saturday, Jan. 12.

    During the sixth annual Charles B. Huggins Lecture Series, cancer and immunology specialist Judy Cannon, a postdoctoral fellow in Medicine, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, will talk about how knowing the immune system can help doctors and patients better understand and treat cancer.

    This year’s series, titled “The Immune System and Cancer: A Civil War,” was created for anyone interested in understanding the relationship between cancer and the immune system and how the immune system can be used in cancer therapy. The lectures also will cover the newest developments in cancer treatment. They will be especially informative to cancer patients and their families.

    Each lecture will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on eight consecutive Saturdays, beginning Jan. 12, at 5839 S. Maryland Ave., Room P-117, at the University Medical Center.

    Over the eight-week series, Cannon will discuss how the immune system works, the roles of the immune system in fighting pathogens and in recognizing cancer. These background lectures will be followed by how immune system and cancer cells communicate, and how our immune system can be used to fight cancer.

    The series is named after Charles B. Huggins, who won the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on testosterone’s involvement in prostate cancer. Huggins served as the first director of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University. The annual lecture series is intended to make science accessible to a general audience and to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the biological sciences.

    The Saturday lecture topics are scheduled as follows:

Jan. 12: The North: Immune System and the South: Tumors
Jan. 19: Danger signals: Inflammation. How the immune system recognizes something is going wrong
Jan. 26: Is this me or something bad? T-cell recognition of self vs. non-self
Feb. 2: Location, location, location: T-cell trafficking
Feb. 9: License to kill: Killer T cells
Feb. 16: Additional complexities to immune system and cancer development
Feb. 23: Using the immune system to treat cancer: How antibodies have led to the creation of cancer therapeutics
March 1: Who will win in this civil war?

    Lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-3940.