Cancer research, testing, and vaccinations are being created and worked on by doctors and medical professionals daily. Recently, researchers at Stanford University developed a promising new cancer “vaccine” that they originally tested on mice. The vaccine cured up to 97% of tumors in the tested mice. Later this year, the researchers will test the vaccine in about 35 humans who are diagnosed with lymphoma.
The new treatment stimulates the body’s immune system to attack and fight off cancer cells. 87 out of the 90 tested mice showed an elimination of cancer tumors, even in the instance that tumor had spread to other parts of the body. The mice had varying cancers including lymphoma, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
Although this development sounds very promising, experts in the field think that we are still a ways away from getting this drug prescribed to cancer patients. It is important to note that exciting results such as these do not always have the same effects on humans as they do for animals. Additionally, the human patients who will participate in the test all have lymphoma, so even if this does work we do not know if it will cure all types of cancer or just lymphoma.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology defines a cancer vaccine as a treatment that is used to prevent cancer from resurfacing and kills cancer cells that are still within the body. This treatment would be classified as a type of immunotherapy. It stimulates cells to attack cancer with a combination of two agents. This treatment is unique as there are currently no immunotherapies available for colon or breast cancer.
While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to be done to find a permanent and promising cure for cancer. The study is still in the early phases and will ultimately only determine whether or not it is a safe method for treating cancer, later research will actually discover how effective it is. More information about this study can be found here.
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