Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine injected two agents that stimulate immunity directly to mice’ tumors. The results were outstanding: the solution eliminates any trace of cancer, including metastasis.
The new approach that uses the body’s immune system is different, as in the fact that the cells are now injected and they attack the tumors, unlike some previous experiments, where the modified immune cells were injected into the body and then acted upon cancer, writes stanford.edu.
The new method is safer without the side effects present in other treatments that require activation of the entire immune system. When they used these two agents together, they observed the removal of tumors throughout the body. Ronald Levy, an oncology professor and author of the study, published it on January 31 in the journal Science Translational Medicine. He said that this approach does not require complete activation of the immune system or change of immune cells of the patient.
The method, which involves the injection of two agents, one of which is already used in humans, works for many types cancers.
The two agents working together reactivate T cells directly into the tumor. In the experiments, it has been observed that, in the case of mice with multiple tumors, an injection in only one of them leads to the removal of the other similar tumors. In this way, 87 of the 90 mice were cured of cancer. Although cancer recurred in three of them, tumors could be removed again with a second therapy. The results were similar regardless of the type of cancer, whether breast, colon or skin cancer.
Moreover, another distinction from other immunotherapies is the simplicity of the method which, if operated in humans, would be cheaper.
The next step is clinical trials, where 15 patients with lymphoma will be recruited. Levy is confident that in the future, the approach can be used for near, if not all, cancers.