Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Universal cancer vaccine can attack any cancer

CANCER DIGEST – June 7, 2016– German scientists have reported inching closer to a long sought universal vaccine that will attack cancer, any cancer.

Research groups around the world for decades have been pursuing the vaccine approach, which will rev up a cancer patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells.

In a mouse study and early human trial involving just three patients, the German researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany reported in the journal Nature, that their vaccine developed from bits of genetic material from patient’s tumor and injected into the bloodstream has produced anti-cancer T cells, the immune system cells that kill and eliminate abnormal cells.

The technique uses RNA, the active form of genes, taken from cancer cells and uses nanotechnology to encapsulate them into a fat, or lipid that work by ‘tricking’ the immune system into launching an all-out attack on tumors with that genetic material.

The scientists say that by changing the RNA inside those nano-capsules, they can, in theory, mobilize the immune system against any type of cancer.

“(Such) vaccines are fast and inexpensive to produce, and virtually any tumor antigen can be encoded by RNA,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, the nanoparticulate RNA immunotherapy approach introduced here may be regarded as a universally applicable novel vaccine class for cancer immunotherapy.”

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