Age-dependent responses of organs to tuberculosis and cancer.
Both tuberculosis (TB) and cancer (C) can affect many organs, e.g. brain, bones, skin. We consider the age-specific response of each organ j, particularly how fast lesions develop and how serious they become. A convenient identification of the response of organ j to TB is provided by the following age-dependent death ratio: T_j(t)= (death by type j TB)/(all TB deaths) A similar function will describe the deaths due to cancer lesions: C_j(t)= (death by type j cancer)/(all cancer deaths). We compare the organs' responses in all cases for which death data are available. We will see that these ratios provide signatures that are much more readable than their numerators and denominators. Although such responses are highly organ-dependent, it appears that for the same organ at age t: T_j(t) is similar to C_j(t). In other words, the idiosyncrasies of each organ are more important than the functional differences induced by TB or cancer. For instance, with regard to brain lesions, both TB and cancer mortalities peak around the age of 10. Such parallel features may bring to light vulnerabilities due to (temporary) faults or deficiencies of the immune system.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.09528