Echinacea alkylamides inhibit interleukin-2 production by Jurkat T cells

Alkylamides present in Echinacea species have reported immunomodulatory actions, yet their direct effects on T lymphocytes, key mediators of antiviral immunity, are poorly understood. We hypothesized that constituents present in ethanolic extracts of Echinacea species exert direct immunomodulatory effects on human Jurkat T cells. Modulation of IL-2 production by submaximally stimulated Jurkat cells was determined in response to treatment with extracts prepared from dried aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea.

Breast cancer and the immune system

This article reviews the evidence that the functioning of both the innate and the adaptive immune system plays a role in preventing relapse in women with breast cancer. Lymphocytes, including T cells, T regulatory cells, and natural killer cells, and their cytokine release patterns are implicated in both primary prevention and recurrence of breast cancer. Cancer prognosis may be related to immune system functional status. The hypothesis that the immune system has a causal role in breast cancer etiology is supported by epidemiologic, preclinical, and clinical research.

Trametes versicolor mushroom immune therapy in breast cancer

Data from multiple epidemiologic and clinical studies on immune effects of conventional cancer treatment and the clinical benefits of polysaccharide immune therapy suggest that immune function has a role in breast cancer prevention. Immune therapy utilizing the polysaccharide constituents of Trametes versicolor (Tv) as concurrent adjuvant cancer therapy may be warranted as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment and secondary prevention strategy.

Immune Defects in Breast Cancer Patients after Radiotherapy

Patients did not report significant fatigue levels for the 6 weeks after completing RT. Significant decreases in the numbers and functions of cells from both the innate and adaptive immune system were detected following a standard course of radiation therapy for the treatment of breast cancer. Immune deficits in lymphocyte populations and TNF-alpha production, should they persist, may have consequences for immune response to residual or recurrent malignancy following completion of conventional treatment. The use of adjunctive immune therapies which target these specific defects may be warranted in the post-treatment period.

Trametes versicolor-induced Immunopotentiation - Developmental Center for Research on CAM (University of Minnesota collaboration, Bastyr subcontractor)

The objectives of this developmental center grant are 1) developing basic, translational, and clinical research to explore the feasibility and scientific rationale for use of mushroom extracts as immunopotentiating agents; 2) facilitating the development of the capacity of investigators at Bastyr University to participate in basic and translational CAM research; 3) enhancing the capacity of investigators at the University of Minnesota to participate in translational and clinical CAM research.

Echinacea for Preventing Colds in Children, Subcontract with Child Health Institute

An unexpected result of an earlier randomized controlled trial was that patients receiving Echinacea had fewer subsequent upper respiratory infections (URIs) during the four-month study period than children who received placebo for treatment of acute symptoms. This study is designed to further delineate the potential efficacy of Echinacea in preventing URIs in children.

Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

NIAID's Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) was a collaboration with the AIDS Research Center in order to assess CAM utilization and health outcomes associated with alternative medicine use among HIV-positive MACS participants. The Bastyr-MACS collaboration provides an excellent opportunity to measure health outcomes associated with CAM use in a cohort from which complete clinical and laboratory data is obtained on a regular semi-annual basis.

Echinacea for Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in Pediatrics , (UW subcontractor)

A two-year-study of 600 children. Not only will the results of this study determine if echinacea, the most popular medicinal herb sold in the United States, is an effective therapy for URIs in children, but the study will also provide a design framework for future assessments on the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines in children.