In Boston, a potentially-revolutionary treatment for deadly brain cancer is showing promising early signs in mice both for the eradication and prevention of tumors and individual cancer cells.
A vaccine in the true sense of the word, the method involves repurposing living cancer cells to destroy the tumors which spawned them.
Cancer cells have very particular characteristics, one of which potentially makes them even better cancer-killers than immune molecules. That characteristic is their ability to travel long distances through the body returning to the tumor they came from.
By using a similar technique to CRISPR called CRISP-CAS9, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston were able to change proteins within the living cancer cells to prime tumors and other cells for destruction. The priming got the immune system involved, which then resulted in the mice in immunological memory just like vaccines for viruses.
In experiments, it worked on mice carrying cells derived from humans, mimicking what will happen in patients, which had the deadliest form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.
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