A cancer vaccine based on two immune-stimulating agents was able to completely eliminate cancerous tumors in mice, claims a team of researchers at Stanford University. Their project has now passed in its next phase: trials on human volunteers.
Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine injected mice with substances that activated the T cells in their tumors. According to the scientists, this helped eliminate regular and spontaneous tumors and even distant metastases.
The team is thrilled with the results and is now recruiting volunteers with Lymphoma for clinical trials. Out of the two agents targeted by the researchers, one has already been approved for human usage.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body. This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets and doesn’t require wholesale activation of the immune system or customization of a patient’s immune cells”, declared MD Ronald Levy, an oncology professor.
When discussing how this could change cancer treatments, the researchers stated that their approach might turn into a quick and inexpensive therapy. One that might also come with smaller side effects than the body-wide immune stimulation.
The Outline of the Cancer Vaccine
The cancer vaccine tested on the mice helped rejuvenate the immune system T cells that normally fight cancer. These usually attack the tumor, but this, in turn, develops ways to overpower them and grow back.
However, the experiment injected these immune boosters directly into the lymphoma tumor and saw the destruction of the cancer cells.
Professor Levy conducted the experiment on 90 mice, and the vaccine proved successful for 87 among them. These subjects were declared cancer-free.
The cancer was recurrent in three of the mice, but after a new dose of immune boosters, they also saw a regression. This cancer vaccine targeted melanoma, breast, and colon tumors.
Professor Ronald Levy is a pioneer in cancer treatment research as he also discovered rituximab, which was among the first monoclonal antibodies approved as therapy for human use.
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