Cancer vaccine eliminates tumor in mice

Cancer vaccine eliminates tumor in mice

Cancer vaccine eliminates tumor in mice

The cancer vaccine, which was tested on laboratory mice injected with various forms of cancer throughout their bodies, is now in a clinical trial for patients receiving treatment for lymphoma.

Stanford's formula contains two immune-stimulating agents which were so effective they eliminated the tumors they were injected into as well as reduced the tumors in untreated parts of the mice.

The findings were published this week and are getting a lot of attention. The cancer recurred in three of the mice, but a second round of injections removed their tumors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dr Ronald Levy, a senior author of the study told the Stanford Medicine News Centre that when the two agents were used together, they saw the elimination of tumours all over the body. 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. Researchers are now hoping their experiments lead to a "vaccine" for human cancer patients. The study was also successful in mice that had breast, colon and melanoma tumors.

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Researchers said one agent has already been approved for use in humans, while the other has been tested for human use in several unrelated clinical trials.

The study explained that when an immune system detects cancer cells in the body, its T cells attack the tumor but, over time, the tumor devises ways to overpower the immune cells and continues to grow.

The treatment consists of injectable immune system boosters, which could provide a relatively cheap, non-invasive alternative to radiation and chemotherapy, known for their unpleasant side effects.

The vaccine worked on laboratory mice with transplanted mouse lymphoma tumors in two sites on their bodies.

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Out of the 90 mice with lymphoma cancer tested, 87 were cured. Those same cells then moved on from the tumor it destroyed to find any other identical cancers in the body. The other is being tested for possible use on human patients.

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

If successful, Levy believes the treatment could be useful for many tumour types.

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