Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Cancer vaccine eliminates tumors in mice; human trials next

Cancer vaccine eliminates tumors in mice; human trials next

The three subjects that relapsed were given a second shot of the new treatment which cleared up the tumors again.

To eliminate the tumors, researchers used an immunotherapy approach by activating T cells in cancerous tumors. Researchers said they saw similar results in mice that had breast, colon, and melanoma tumors. One of the two agents that make up the vaccine is now approved for use in humans, according to researchers.

The new treatment, which was directly injected into the tumor sites of 90 mice, cured 87 mice of the disease.

It's also unlikely to cause adverse side effects often seen with other immune stimulation, according to researchers. In some cancer therapies that already exist, like T-cell treatment used to combat leukemia and lymphoma, the patient's immune cells need to be removed from the body and then are genetically altered to fight the cancerous cells before being reintroduced to a person's system.

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Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine injected a cancer vaccine in 90 mice, and majority were cured.

Also, the approach works for many different types of cancers, including those that arise spontaneously.

Scientists injected two immune boosters - one a short stretch of DNA, the other an antibody - into tumors they'd implanted in the mice.

"When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body", said Levy. Compared to standard treatments which try to stimulate the entire body's immune system at once and raises costs, the Stanford vaccine only delivers a small amount of medication to a specific tumor area.

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What's even more encouraging is researchers believe that the local application of very small amounts of the agents could serve as both a rapid-and relatively inexpensive-cancer therapy.

The study, conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine, also found that the new treatment also eliminated untreated metastases, which are abnormal growths further away from the original tumor site.

A current clinical trial underway is expected to recruit about 15 patients with low-grade lymphoma.

Levy is hopeful this treatment will be successful on multiple types of tumors.

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