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Inflammation is at the origin and progression of diseases such as diabetes or cancer

Fifteen top international specialists in this field will gather from 25-27 June for a conference entitled, Inflammation and Chronic Disease, part of the Barcelona BioMed conference series organised by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Fundacin BBVA. The event will be hosted by the Institut dEstudis Catalans (IEC).

Inflammation and Chronic Disease

Inflammation is the innate response of the immune system that occurs when an organism sustains a lesion or infection. When the damaged tissue heals, the inflammation disappears, but when the inflammation remains active and becomes chronic, it can severely damage the affected tissue.

Asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers disease and, most recently, type 2 diabetes and cancer, are diseases that have been associated with chronic inflammation. Carme Caelles, researcher at IRB Barcelona and co-organiser of the conference, explains that until recently inflammation has been considered simply a side effect of cancer. In the last three years, however, growing evidence has pointed to the active role of inflammation not just at the beginning but also in the promotion and progression of the disease.

Inflammation is also linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The presence of excessive fat activates the production of cytokines, proteins involved in inflammatory processes that end up promoting insulin resistance. There are currently several drugs in clinical testing that inhibit cytokines as a treatment for diabetes. Not all anti-inflammatory drugs work for all diseases. The challenge is to identify and understand complete mechanisms so that the most effective drugs can be designed for each disease, with the fewest side effects possible, points out Caelles.

The conference will host a full range of specialists and will cover a variety of areas. Speakers will present their research
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Contact: Sonia Armengou
sarmengou@pcb.ub.es
34-934-037-255
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB)
18-Jun-2007


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