Scientists at Stanford University in the United States have raised hopes that the war against all forms of cancer may soon be won, following the result of an amazing experiment using mice.
The scientists found that by injecting directly a combination of two immune boosters into solid mouse tumours, all traces of the specifically targeted cancer vanished, according to the research paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumours all over the body,” Ronald Levy, senior author of the study told the Stanford Medicine News Centre.
Levy hailed the result as “amazing.” The researcher believed the local application of very small amounts of the agents could serve as a rapid and relatively inexpensive cancer therapy that is unlikely to cause the adverse side effects often seen with body-wide immune stimulation.
“This approach bypasses the need to identify tumour-specific immune targets and doesn’t require whole sale activation of the immune system or customisation of a patient’s immune cells,” the professor said.
The “vaccine” has shown results in mice bearing lymphoma, breast, colon and melanoma tumours.
“I don’t think there’s a limit to the type of tumour we could potentially treat, as long as it has been infiltrated by the immune system,” Levy said.
Of the two immune agents used in the study, one has already been approved for use in humans, and the second is currently involved in a lymphoma treatment trial.