The T cell myth bears fruit
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T lymphocytes seem to be ubiquitous in disease — and at scientific conferences. Recent research links abnormalities in the T lymphocyte family to a wide range of conditions including asthma, alopecia and some cancers. So, not surprisingly, many drug companies are developing strategies to alter the T cell balance. More fundamentally, the research may help unravel one of the great clinical mysteries of our time: why atopic diseases are becoming more common. Yet all this effort is based on something of an immunological myth.