Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital I have just described a new method that is supposed to destroy existing cancerous tumors and train the immune system to protect against their recurrence.
says d Khaled ShahCo-author of the method. “Using genetic engineering, we have reprogrammed cancer cells to kill cancer cells and activate the immune system to destroy primary tumors as well as prevent disease progression.”
Cancer vaccines are being studied extensively in different laboratories around the world. The new approach, described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, differs from the prevailing concept. Instead of using cancer cells that are already inactive – as is often the case – the researchers used them Alteration of living cancer cells.
They explain that these cells seek out other cancer cells in the body.
Therefore, the researchers use the already famous system CRISPR Cas9 (Participated in his research Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2020) inserted the gene that It causes the release of a substance that destroys cancer. In this way, modified cancer cells destroy tumors already present in the body.
That’s not all—the cells have also been modified to carry molecules on their surface that alert the immune system. Thanks to this immune system It continues to attack cells that may have survived the original treatment for a long time. In contrast, the altered therapeutic cells die after completing the task.
After getting very promising results, the researchers tested their method on The mice were altered to have thymus, bone marrow and liver cells to mimic the human immune system. The animals suffered from advanced brain cancer. The treatment has been shown to be safe, easy to apply, and effective. The researchers stress that their method can be applied to different types of tumors.
“In the work we do at our center, even if it has a high-tech profile, we never lose sight of the patient. Our goal is to use this innovative approach to create a treatment — a vaccine to kill cancer that will have a long-term impact on medicine.” Dr Shah confirms.
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