Researchers Develop New Method Of Vaccine Against Cancer
Scientists have developed a technique that uses a library of DNA taken from the organs in which tumors can develop and harness the body’s immune response to create a vaccine designed to treat cancer. The study published in the journal Nature Medicine on Sunday, researchers from Britain and the United States, said that early tests on mice with prostate cancer, the experimental vaccine was able to shrink tumors, suggesting that could be developed in the future as part of therapy in cancer patients. “With the immune system to treat cancer is a very interesting area for the moment,” said Alan Melcher of the University of Leeds, who co-led the study, in an interview. “What we have done is to develop a new approach based on a promise.” He said the method could be used against other cancers such as skin cancer or breast cancer, but added that research is at an early stage and it will take several years before a vaccine can be developed for tests in humans.
Immunotherapy treatments – drugs that seek the help of the body’s immune system to fight disease – are a relatively new potential treatment of cancer. A drug called immunotherapy or ipilimumab Yervoy, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March as the first drug to help patients and advanced melanoma. And last April, the FDA approved Provenge is Dendreon Corp., a therapeutic vaccine designed to stimulate the immune system to attack prostate cancer. Unlike traditional vaccines, therapeutic vaccines are designed to prevent the disease but to treat it. They contain the genes to stimulate the immune system to produce proteins called antigens that trigger the immune system to kill cancer cells.
Several pharmaceutical companies are trying to develop vaccines against cancer, but the work is difficult because each tumor specific proteins and the correct identification of the antigen is difficult. There is also concern that if multiple genes are used to increase the chances of producing a successful antigens can trigger an immune response that is too strong for the body to process. Working with researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester in the United States, Melcher’s team made a vaccine consisting of a virus genetically modified to contain the “library” of DNA fragments, including a number of genes – and therefore many antigens as possible.
They found that this approach does not send the immune system to exaggerate. Instead, the series meant that the DNA vaccine was able to target the tumor through many routes, they said.
Above all, the library DNA was taken from the same body as the tumor, Melcher said. This meant that the immune system “self-selected” cancer antigens responding and reacting to other healthy parts of the body. “The biggest challenge in immunology is to develop antigens that could target the tumor without damaging other places,” he said. “By using the DNA of the same body part as a tumor … we might be able to solve this problem. ” Melcher said his team now plans to develop the technique further and an experimental vaccine ready for human trials within a few years
Originally posted 2011-06-23 11:09:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter