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In many cases abnormal or cancerous cells are resistant to the natural destruction process, known as Apoptosis, which is triggered by perforin. Any such cells present can only be destroyed by another method known as necrosis. Since it is not a natural process it has to be activated by a physician specifically to destroy the abnormal or cancerous cells that are accumulating. If high levels of perforin are present it is an indication that there is an active necrotic process whilst low levels are a clear indicator that the process is not functioning effectively.


Human perforin (cytolysin) is one of the major effector molecules used by the immunological cells, e.g. Natural Killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T cells to mediate targeted cell lysis or necrosis (accidental cell death). Perforin expression is constitutive in NK cells, but increases in resting CD8+ cytotoxic cells upon their activation. Many virus infected and Cancer Cells are resistant to destruction through Apoptosis (programmed cell death). Triggered by perforin, necrosis is the only mechanism for the destruction of any such cells. This assay is designed to provide information related to the presence of both active NK cells and cytotoxic T cells.

High levels of perforin are associated with the necrotic process which can involve the destruction of virus-infected and Cancer Cells. Low levels indicate a low ability of the NK cells and the cytotoxic T cells to trigger the necrosis of Abnormal Cells.


This assay will provide extremely valuable and accurate information relating to the following pathological conditions :-

- Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis ( MS ) and Parkinsonís disease.
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