What is thymosin alpha 1?

Thymosin alpha 1 is a biological response modifier believed to help treat various illnesses and diseases. It’s a naturally occurring thymic peptide composed of 28 amino acids.

So far, researchers have linked Tα1 with fighting inflammation and boosting immunity, among other uses. It has been applied as both standalone and adjuvant therapy with promising outcomes for diseases associated with immune dysfunction and certain cancers.

Tα1 was first discovered back in the 1960s. Scientists isolated it from thymic tissue and began studying it. Since then, more potential uses and connections have been found, attracting more attention to Tα1.

Research

Since its discovery, researchers have extensively studied Tα1. In recent years, there have been a large number of trials.

In 2013, Wu et al studied whether Tα1 injections could improve outcomes for patients suffering from severe sepsis. In the randomized and controlled study, they found that the patients who had injections of Tα1 as treatment were less likely to die than the control group. They also had more positive monocyte outcomes.

A 2019 study by Costantini et al examined the use of Tα1 therapy for fighting cancer – specifically, melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and lung cancer.

Because of its ability to stimulate the immune system, Tα1 is particularly effective at alleviating tumors, preventing infections, improving responses to vaccines, and even mitigating some unpleasant side effects from cancer treatments (like chemotherapy and radiotherapy).

This means it works great as an adjuvant treatment to different treatments for cancer.

However, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Tα1.

It might be able to improve the capabilities of checkpoint inhibitors and help the immune system locate tumors in the body.

In 2010, Li et al compiled the following list of clinical applications for Tα1:

  • Advanced lung and breast cancer (e.g. antitumor activity)
  • Melanoma
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • AIDS

Tα1 might even be able to play a role in the current COVID-19 pandemic – it could be used in therapy for patients. Some have already hypothesized that cytokine storm responses could influence how bodies react to coronavirus. In this case, immunostimulatory therapies could help more than immune suppression, which is currently the standard recommendation – especially among the elderly.

Because of the talks over conditions and illnesses related to the global pandemic, we’re likely to hear more about Tα1 in the future.

Conclusion

Tα1 is a promising substance that has various implications for medical science and disease treatment.

Because of the way it impacts cell-signaling pathways, it can boost immune systems and have therapeutic purposes for certain immune-related conditions. Applications include various types of cancer and even the current COVID-19 outbreak.