“Like a vaccine”: Researchers are rethinking cancer research

Deepak Gupta January 13, 2022
Updated 2022/01/13 at 5:16 AM

Scientists have long been working on advancing the cure for cancer. Two researchers from the University of Chicago want to finally make that happen. You think that Cancer research new by bringing new approaches in the field of immunotherapy.

Cancer research: immune system should be trained

Jeffrey Hubbell and Melody Schwartz of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago talk about cancer research and studies on a new podcast from the university.

Melody Schwartz developed a cancer “vaccine” that is said to be very different from anything else that has existed before. He should train the immune system so that it recognizes cancer cells as bad.

“We’re trying not so much to hit with a sledgehammer, but rather to refine and understand what contributes to a broader and longer lasting immune response. This is what the vaccine focuses on, unlike other approaches. “

Melody Schwartz

Why doesn’t the immune system fight cancer?

Ideally, the human immune system would recognize and fight cancer as a foreign pathogen. It actually has good mechanisms that can fight off tumors on their own. However, cancer cells can trick the immune system (via pharmaceutical facts).

T cells can recognize cancer antigens as foreign and thus trigger the destruction of the tumor. However, cancer can “hide” from these mechanisms, so that our immune system can no longer see the cancer cells and thus cannot fight them.

Anything that can activate the body’s immune response and kill tumor cells is in cancer immunotherapy. It is like a “training program”, the podcast says.

Work like a flu shot

To put it simply, Melody Schwartz explains that they have found a way to remove tumor cells and irradiate them. With that they are dead.

“Then we inject it somewhere very remote, it has nothing to do with this tumor. Yes. Like a vaccine. It’s just like a regular vaccine. It would be like a flu vaccine. They take this flu and make it ineffective. The virus is then weakened or dead and is injected with something called an adjuvant, which boosts the immune response. That’s exactly what we do. But our vaccine or tumor vaccine activates the lymphatic system to produce a broader and stronger immune response. “

Melody Schwartz

Melody Schwartz still insists on being able to conduct clinical studies with the vaccine that has been developed. However, initial studies with mice show effectiveness: In these, the researchers were able to see a clear immune response. The method of harvesting cancer cells, killing them and getting them back as a kind of vaccine could work for any type of cancer.

Other scientists are also involved in cancer research. In the summer, for example, it became known that BioNTech was starting a phase II study with an mRNA vaccine against cancer.

Source: University of Chicago, Pharma Facts

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