Scientists have developed a vaccine that can prevent and even cure brain cancer. The dual action treatment kills existing tumors and trains the immune system to prevent recurrence.
The dual-action therapy includes the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which works like molecular scissors to create and repurpose live tumor cells to release cancer-killing factors.
In addition, they engineered cancer cells to express factors that would make them easier for the immune system to detect and remember, thereby preparing the immune system for a long-term antitumor response.
The experiments were carried out on mice carrying cancer cells of human origin, mimicking what would happen to human patients.
And they had the deadliest form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. The US team that led the study described the results as “promising”.
“Our team followed a simple idea: take cancer cells and turn them into cancer killers and vaccines,” said Dr. Khalid Shah, professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston. cancer cells to develop treatments that kill cancer cells and stimulate the immune system to destroy primary tumors and prevent cancer.”
A new breakthrough raises hopes of ‘editing’ DNA in the brain with a vaccine without the need to remove any tissue.
‘Cancer-killing vaccine shows “promising” signs in brain cancer prevention new studying https://t.co/R96QlphLur
— New Study Alert (@NewStudyAlert) January 9, 2023
The breakthrough, described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, differs from other potential cancer vaccines in that instead of using inactivated tumors, Dr. Shah and his colleagues reused live cells.
The team created a two-layer “safety switch” in a cancer cell that, when activated, kills tumors if needed. Trials have been safe, applicable and effective in rodent models and have shown promising therapeutic results.
“Our goal is to take an innovative yet human-friendly approach so that we can develop a therapeutic vaccine that kills cancer and will ultimately have a long-term impact on medicine,” said Dr. Shah.
CRISPR works like molecular scissors that cut DNA at specific locations, either completely removing sections or replacing them with alternative sequences.
It includes two major biochemical segments on a short stretch of RNA, a DNA-like chemical that binds to a target. Then an enzyme or protein called CAS9 makes the cut.
The strategy may be applicable to a wider range of solid tumors. Dr. Shah said more research and research is needed.