“If you can’t defeat the enemy, join him.” This famous phrase, applicable both on a realistic and metaphorical level, is the key to the approach of the new cancer vaccine presented by a group of scientists from various US research centers. In doing so, they use their own tumor cells live to attack the rest and, in turn, prepare the immune system to act against them if they reappear.

It is important to note that it has only been tested on mice so far. However, the results were very promising. Not only because of its effectiveness. In addition, since the rodent models used carried bone marrow, liver and thymus cells of human originso that we imitate our immune microenvironment.

It is also worth noting that this is not the first anti-cancer vaccine developed. However, this is the first time that active tumor cells have been used. commonly used dormant cells, as in traditional vaccines with microorganisms. Thus, the immune system is stimulated to attack them. But this time, there is the extra help of active cells, and this may be the key that was missing for improve its efficiency.

A new type of cancer vaccine

In their statement, the authors of this study compare tumor cells with carrier pigeons. In the same way that they always return to their places, no matter how many kilometers they have traveled, the cells glioblastomathe tumor on which this cancer vaccine has been tested can travel throughout the brain to attach itself to the rest of the tumor.

For this reason, they decided to take tumor cells that are identical to tumor cells, but modify them using one of the most commonly used genetic engineering methods in recent times: CRISPR-Cas9. This is a kind of molecular shortcut that allows you to cut DNA and replace some genes with others. So they modified the genetic material of the cells to turn them into tumor destroyers. In addition, they were intended for easy for the immune system to label, detect and remember.

Thus, by injecting them into the brains of mice, they could reach the tumor, destroy it, and in the meantime train the immune system so that in the event of a relapse, their own cells are responsible for the attack. But that’s not all. also added safety switch which, when activated, destroys the modified tumor cells as needed.

promising results

The first experiments in mice showed very promising results in terms of survival and immunity. In addition, it is expected that the inclusion of cells of human origin extrapolation to our view easier than with other cancer vaccines.

As for the target, it was used against glioblastoma, a highly malignant type of brain tumor. However, those responsible for the investigation believe that this could be used against other solid tumors. These are abnormal fluid-free tissue masses and cysts, including sarcomas, carcinomas, and lymphomas.

These are very common tumors, so a cancer vaccine that works immediately and prevents relapses would be the perfect weapon for the arsenal that science is gradually building up against this terrible disease. There is still a long way to go, but each step is good news.

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Source: Hiper Textual

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