Narrator: This is Science Today. Patients with cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases or infections often develop high levels of a protein called hepcidin, which reduces the amount of iron available to produce new red blood cells and leads to anemia.
Nizet: Abnormally high levels of this peptide, hepcidin, lead to poor iron absorption and an inability of iron supplementation to correct the anemia. So, these patients have anemia that is not responsive to iron replacement.
Narrator: Dr. Victor Nizet of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine recently discovered that hepcidin is regulated by another protein called HIF and says that understanding this process may lead to better treatment of anemia in these patients.
Nizet: HIF is a volt to bring down hepcidin levels; so we think that this may offer a therapeutic window to help so many patients who suffer abnormally high hepcidin levels and anemia in the setting of chronic disease.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.