The fight against cancer sees us pitted against an enemy that is aggressive, adaptable and utterly without mercy.
That’s why any victory, no matter how small, should be celebrated and shared with the world. After all, in this particular fight, we’re all on the same side, and that’s not something that can be categorically said about many things when discussing our race.
Well, scientists have reportedly developed a cancer “vaccine” that helps trigger your immune system and encourage it to attack cancerous cells in your body. That’s at least according to a new study that is, admittedly, a rather small one.
The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, looked at 11 patients suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system. Though not all of the patients responded to the treatment, some went into remission for months or even years after the “vaccine” was delivered.
Now, it’s important to state that though it’s being termed a “vaccine”, it won’t actually stop someone from developing cancer. The coauthor of the study, Joshua Brody, MD, director of the Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program at the Icahn School of Medicine, explained: “This is a therapeutic vaccine, not a preventative vaccine, i.e. it is used to treat people that already have the disease.”
How it works
So, how exactly does this “vaccine” work? Well, two immune stimulants are injected into a tumor, thereby ‘tricking’ the immune system into thinking the tumor is like an infection. Dr. Brody continues: “Then, the activated immune cells travel throughout the body to kill tumors wherever they find them.”
Of the patients who took part in the study, three went into remission. It’s said researchers, however, are hoping to increase its effectiveness in upcoming trials.
What’s more, the “vaccine” may well also boost the effectiveness of a form of immunotherapy called a “checkpoint blockade” (the same one that won the 2018 Nobel Prize).
Dr. Brody said: “Checkpoint blockade ‘releases the brakes’ from anti-cancer immune cells so they can kill more effectively, but it doesn’t generate or ‘prime’ anti-cancer immune cells. Therefore a combination of the cancer ‘vaccine’ plus checkpoint blockade appears much more effective than either therapy alone.” Testing is underway involving the combination of checkpoint blockades and the “vaccine”.
The next steps for the team entail another clinical trial where the drug is used on other patients with lymphoma, as well as those suffering from breast cancer and cancers of the neck and head.
It will be a long time yet before the “vaccine” is offered to all cancer patients (it has to undergo a series of rigorous tests and approvals first), but it’s promising nonetheless.
Work on finding a cure for cancer is ongoing and advancing every single day, but it needs all our support behind it.
Please share this article to show your support for anyone fighting this horrible disease, and let’s end it forever!