CD40 and its ligand CD40L (CD154), members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) super-family, have a key role in the functions of the immune system. It is well known that CD40 is widely expressed in monocytes, dendritic cells, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, platelets and fibroblasts. However, CD40 expression was observed not only in cells related to the immune system, but also in cells of several different types of carcinomas, such as in the ovary, breast, lung, renal, melanoma and colon among others. CD40 it appears to initiate the differentiation and the proliferation of certain cell types.
SCLC is treated mostly with chemotherapy whereas NSCLC can be treated with chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy or a combination of these treatments depending on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. While several treatment options exist, chemotherapy remains the treatment choice for advanced/metastatic disease. Unlike other cancers such as breast and prostate, survival rates for lung cancer have not shown great improvements.
Preterm birth occurs in approximately 10% of human pregnancies between 20 and 37 weeks of gestation. The resulting developmental lung abnormalities are the most common complication in extreme premature infants accounting for more than 70% of perinatal mortality. In spite of recent advances in perinatal care, rates of pulmonary dysplasia have not dramatically changed over recent years.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common autosomal recessive disease. It is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis transmenbrane conductance regulator –CFTR-. At three months of age, most babies with cystic fibrosis have abnormalities detectable by chest-computed tomography. The average lifespan of cystic fibrosis patients is around 40 years and obviously cystic fibrosis is also the target of novel medications that may alleviate the pulmonary symptoms.