Immunotherapy and Aggressive cancers

2015 Research

German researchers using mice have developed tailored vaccines that target especially aggressive cancers. The researchers, led by Dr. Ugur Sahin, of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, used an approach that targets specific mutations around the DNA in tumours.

According to Sahin’s team, these changes around the DNA make cancer cells uniquely vulnerable because the ‘mutations’ are absent in healthy cells. The vaccines can target the changes without fear of damaging surrounding healthy cells. Also, given each person’s DNA is slightly different to another’s, the vaccines can be tailored to an individual’s cancer.

Unlike other vaccine studies which tend to just stimulate T-cells (the attack cells of your immune system), these studies stimulated the whole immune system – mouse models with aggressive skin, colon and lung cancer were studied and the results were extremely successful. There is a long way to go before this works in humans, though.

See also Active Immunotherapy - the new kid on the block (click here)

2015 Research
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