What is tumor necrosis factor?
One of the many proteins that trigger the death of a tumor cell is the human tumor necrosis factor (hereinafter TNF). Actively produced when any pathology is present in the body - inflammation, autoimmunization, malignant tumors.
It should be noted that the modern scientific literature contains the designation of the term as TNF and TNF-alpha. The second is considered irrelevant, however, some authors cite it in their writings.
TNF produce blood cells - monocytes, microphages, lymphocytes, as well as vascular endothelium. Its maximum concentration is noted a couple of hours after the appearance of the antigen in the body. At the same time, healthy cells are not damaged.
A bit of history
In 1975, after the experimental introduction of BCG and endotoxin into the blood of a rodent, the necrosis factor of a tumor cell was determined for the first time. The following was revealed: the serum contained a substance that has a cytotoxic and cytostatic effect on a certain cell group. Thus, hemorrhagic necrosis of tumors previously vaccinated to rodents was recorded.Hence the name. The role of TNF is quite important not only in the presence of tumors. This factor is necessary and healthy body. But it is not fully understood.
How does TNF behave in the body?
- Participates in immune reactions.
- Regulates inflammatory processes.
- Affects blood formation.
- It has a cytotoxic effect.
- Shows intersystem effect.
When microbes, viruses, foreign proteins enter the body, this leads to activation of the immune system. Thanks to TNF, the number of T-and B-lymphocytes is increased, the movement of neutrophils to the site of inflammation is created. Neutrophils, lymphocytes, macrophages "stick" to the vessel lining in the place of the inflammatory process. Vascular permeability increases in the area of inflammation, and this is also the result of the work of TNF.
The tumor necrosis factor is found in the urine, blood, cerebrospinal fluid, which indicates an intersystem effect. This protein regulates the endocrine and nervous system. The beta form of TNF has a local effect, and immunity is systemically activated and the metabolism is regulated, which is due to the presence of the alpha form.
Laboratory diagnosis of the level of TNF is rare, but for certain types of diseases is simply necessary. So, this analysis is shown if a person has identified:
- Frequent and prolonged infectious and inflammatory processes.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Malignant tumors.
- Burns of various origins.
- Collagenoses, rheumatoid arthritis.
When is TNF elevated?
The level of TNF in the blood above the norm happens in such conditions:
- blood poisoning (sepsis);
- DIC syndrome;
- autoimmune diseases;
- infections of various etiologies;
- allergic reactions;
- oncological processes;
- in case of rejection of a transplanted donor organ in a recipient.
In the presence of such a disease as rheumatoid arthritis antibodies to human tumor necrosis factoralphadetermined in the urine, as well as if there is a process of accumulation of fluid in the articular bag.
An increased number of cachectins is determined in the presence of the following diseases:
- pulmonary tuberculosis;
- hepatitis C;
- brain damage;
- disruption of the liver under the influence of alcohol;
- multiple sclerosis;
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- abscess pancreas.
Increased serum levelstumor necrosis factoralphaworsens a person's condition in cardiovascular insufficiency and bronchial asthma.
Of great importance is the timely determination of cachectin in the blood of a pregnant woman, which helps to identify the pathology of the fetus, amniotic infection and the threat of premature birth. Excess of its norms can indicate the presence of inflammatory disease in a pregnant woman, which is caused by a bacterial component.
A sudden, rapid jump in the tumor necrosis factor in a blood test can be caused by bacterial endotoxin and causes septic shock.
Important for a preliminary percentage prediction of rejection syndrome in case of organ transplantation to a recipient from a donor is the amount of TNF.
If the amount of antibodies to the tumor necrosis factor exceeds the norm, this leads to changes in hemodynamics: the strength of myocardial contractions is reduced, the vascular wall becomes permeable, the cells of the whole organism are exposed to cytotoxic effects.
A blocker that suppresses the effects of natural TNF interferes with the optimal functioning of the immune system.
This situation leads to the following diseases: psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and so on.
The tumor necrosis factor is a hormone-like protein that is produced by the protective cells of the body, influences the change in the composition of lipids, the coagulation of the functions of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.
The above factors cause cell death.
When is TNF lowered?
The decreased TNF index in the blood analysis is noted in the presence of the following conditions:
- primary, secondary immunodeficiency (including AIDS);
- severe viral infection;
- extensive burn, burn disease;
- severe injury;
- stomach swelling;
- the presence of aggravated atopic syndrome;
- therapy with cytostatics, immunosuppressants, corticosteroids.
Types of TNF and use in oncology
Currently, there are two categories of TNF:
- TNF, or alpha - involves monocytes in the process of regression of the tumor, provoking the presence of septic shock. This protein is modernized in the form of prohormone with a very long, atypical number of elements.
- Beta is a cytokine, and interleukin slows down or stops its reaction.
Purposeful use of agents that suppress the production of antibodies to the human tumor necrosis factor in oncological diagnoses revealed the following patterns:
- studies conducted in laboratory mice, testified the fact of a decrease in the number of tumor cells or a slowdown of the existing cancer process due to necrosis of the cancerous tissue;
- the central role in maintaining the average constancy of immunity lies in the basis of stimulation of its protective function;
- provokes the activity of apoptosis, angiogenesis, differentiation and migration of immune cells.
With a change in the energy parameters of the system, various TNF receptors are activated, which causes the variability of the treatment of a malignant tumor.
Cancer Therapy with Tumor Necrosis Factor
Medicines that contain this substance are prescribed for targeted therapy. Their healing properties are:
- in combination with melphalan, TNF is widely used in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma of limbs;
- in connection with the increase in the amount of interleukin (1.8-1.6), the formation of a substance opposing a particular tumor occurs;
- used as an additional drug to provide a neutralizing effect, due to the complications;
- antagonist of tumor necrosis factor is the optimal drug for patients who have a history of non-melanoma cancer of the skin: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma.
Actively used analogues of TNF in Oncology. Together with chemotherapy, they are effective in breast cancer and other tumors.
Inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor have anti-inflammatory effects. But in any infectious process, they should not be prescribed immediately, as the body must fight the disease itself.
Good results show:
"Azitropin" or "Mercaptopurin" is prescribed in the case of T-cell lymphoma.
"Refnot" is a new Russian drug containing TNF and timosin-alpha 1. It has low toxicity, it is almost effective as a natural factor, it has an immunostimulating effect. The drug was developed in 1990. After passing through all the tests, it was registered in 2009.Thus, for malignant tumors, it is prescribed in complex therapy.
Patients with cancer diagnoses should be aware of the results of studies in which negative effects of TNF have been reported. This is often the case if the dosage of the medicine was incorrectly calculated.
Then the tumor necrosis factor thymosin (othe main action of which is aimed at the induction of the maturation of T-lymphocytes), enhances the manifestation of immune reactions, reduces the formation of autoantibodies and is included in the mechanism of the development of cancer.
In this regard, the use of drugs in this category is only under the strict supervision of a specialist.
Frequently asked patients - how much is this analysis? Laboratory testing of TNF is from 800 to 3400 rubles (the average price is about 1700 rubles). The analysis is carried out not all medical institutions. Abroad, the cost ranges from 100 to 250 dollars. But these are only approximate figures, since much depends on the clinic itself and the range of its services.