Category Archives: Cancer Vaccine

Specialized DNA Nanobots Close Cancer Tumor’s Blood Supply

Specialized DNA Nanobots Close Cancer Tumor's Blood Supply
Specialized DNA Nanobots Close Cancer Tumor’s Blood Supply

Robotics has made quite a splash in manufacturing and industrial applications, and now it’s on the brink of a breakthrough in a completely different arena. Future cancer treatment options may include an army of tiny tumor-fighting nanobots.

Biochemistry Meets Industrial Technology

The concept is in the preliminary stages, so real-life use is still far off on the horizon. Scientists are encouraged by the results of a study that was recently published in Nature Biotechnology.

Researchers conducted the test on a group of mice with human breast cancer tumors. Specially engineered DNA nanobots containing a payload of thrombin, an enzyme that causes blood to clot, were then injected intravenously into the affected mice.

Once inside, the nanobots delivered the thrombin directly to tumor-associated blood vessels, where they induced intravascular thrombosis. As a result, cancer cells were deprived of their blood supply and ultimately died off.

Sparing Healthy Cells

While scientists welcome any advancement in cancer treatment, one particular aspect of DNA nanobots is especially promising. During testing on the mice, the nanobots focused exclusively on cancer cells. There was no damage to healthy cells, unlike results often found in traditional cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Issels®: The Leader in Personally Designed Cancer Treatment Programs

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Oncolytic Virus in Research May Herald a Cancer Vaccine for the Future

Immunotherapy brings breakthroughs to cancer treatment.
Immunotherapy brings breakthroughs to cancer treatment.

Promising new cancer treatment research by UC San Francisco has uncovered a cancer killing virus. The vaccine-like effect of the virus harbors potential for use with cancer immunotherapy treatment options, killing some cancer cells directly, and prompting a widespread immune system response to cancer cells far beyond the region the virus infects.

Tremendous Potential
Bringing surprising insight, this new research digs deeper into how oncolytic (cancer-killing) viruses can cooperate with the immune system in attacking cancer cells and tumors. Currently in clinical trials, it points to opportunities in the realm of immunotherapy combination therapies – therapies specifically devised to unleash the full cancer fighting potential of the immune system.

Researchers likened such oncolytic viruses as the equivalent of a bomb, jarring the immune system into action and resuscitating the immune response.

How Do They Work?
Researchers are still coming to terms with fundamentals, which seem to indicate cancer killing viruses attack cancer cells in a number of different ways:

-Through direct infection.
-Via the release of tumor-specific proteins, which trigger a widespread immune response to cancer cells.
-By destroying the blood supply tumors required to survive.

Why a Virus?
Cancer researchers have been exploring the idea of oncolytic viruses since the early 20th century, after observing dramatic remissions following some viral infections. They’ve been actively developing these viruses since the 1980s. With the FDA’s approval and release of oncolytic viral therapy Imlygic (T-Vec) in 2015, such treatment modalities are quickly coming to the forefront of up-and-coming therapy options.

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Swiss Group Studies Dendritic Cell Vaccines with Artificial Receptors

New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment
New Cancer Research Is Improving Treatment

One of the challenges doctors face with cancer treatment is designing a program to meet a patient’s unique needs. Immunotherapy for cancer is helping to provide solutions to this problem, such as recent improvements to dendritic cell vaccines.

Immunotherapy: Priming the Body’s Immune System

While the body’s immune system is extremely capable when it comes to fighting viruses, bacteria and other invaders, cancer cells often demonstrate a remarkable ability to evade detection. Immunotherapy works by enhancing the immune system’s power to target and destroy cancer cells.

Dendritic cells are one of the immune system’s “messengers” that present antigens to killer T-cells for destruction. Researchers in Switzerland began looking for a way to improve the effectiveness of dendritic cell vaccines.

Helping the Immune System Recognize Cancer Cells

Prof. Michele De Palma and his team created artificial receptors known as EVIRs, which are inserted in dendritic cells extracted from a patient. Once reintroduced into the patient’s system, the EVIRs are engineered to recognize exosomes that transport molecules between cells, sometimes assisting in the spread of cancer.

As EVIRs capture exosomes, it allows dendritic cells to present antigens on their outer surface, simplifying recognition and attack by killer T-cells. De Palma and his team have dubbed this phenomenon “cross-dressing,” and they’re hoping that the process will improve the specificity of cancer treatment.

Issels®: A Successful Legacy of Immunotherapy for Cancer

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Properties of Breast Tissue May Play a Role in Cancer Progression

There is New Hope for Breast Cancer Treatment
There is New Hope for Breast Cancer Treatment

Doctors have found some success with immunotherapy for cancer during the late stages of the disease, but the mystery of what causes certain tumors to spread has remained unsolved. Scientists are now turning to a surprising source for information about breast cancer progression.

A Matter of Engineering?

Ovijit Chaudhuri, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been working with researchers across campus exploring the mechanical properties of breast tissue and their role in cancer progression. According to Chaudhuri, evidence supporting this relationship has been accumulating over the last 20 years.

Questions being studied by the teams include:

– How does stiffness of breast tissue encourage the growth and spread of tumors? Chaudhuri’s group is culturing mammary cells inside a hydrogel and tuning its stiffness to determine how it affects the development of cancer cells.

– How do cancer cells find their way past the membrane surrounding breast tissue that is seemingly too dense to allow passage? Currently, the scientists theorize that the cells use a combination of enzymes and force to “cut” their way through.

– As surrounding tissue grows in stiffness over time, how do tumors find space to expand?

Mechanobiology: A Complementary Approach

This isn’t the first time that scientists have sought biological information from the field of engineering. The result is the hybrid science of mechanobiology, which studies the interactions of mechanical properties and biological processes.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Treating Resistant Tumors

At Issels®, our non-toxic immunotherapy programs have helped patients with advanced and therapy-resistant cancers achieve long-term remission. Visit our website for more information about our successful history of personally tailored and integrative cancer treatment programs.

Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible for Some HIV Positive Patients

Targeted Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible
Targeted Immunotherapy May Now Be Possible for Some HIV Patients Who Have Cancer

Even though cancer is a major cause of death for patients with HIV, their compromised immune systems have been a barrier to immunotherapy for cancer treatments. A recent study shows that immunotherapy may be safer for HIV patients than was previously thought.

Is Immunotherapy for Cancer Compatible with HIV-Positive Patients?

Although HIV patients have routinely been excluded from immunotherapy research, results of a clinical trial involving them were presented at last fall’s meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy for Cancer. The study included 17 HIV-positive patients with advanced cancers of various forms.

Patients in the trial were treated with Keytruda, a checkpoint inhibitor approved for use with melanoma, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a number of other cancers. Results showed that Keytruda had a positive effect on the patients.

Continuing Research into HIV-Positive Patients and Immunotherapy

The one exception was Kaposi sarcoma (KSHV), a viral form of cancer associated with HIV and immune system disorders. Kaposi sarcoma patients in the trial did not experience the same benefits as others, so the study has been amended to exclude those with symptomatic KSHV.

According to team member Dr. Thomas Uldrick, further research is needed with immunotherapy and KSHV patients, but it doesn’t negate the overall message that immunotherapy can be safe for HIV patients. The National Cancer Institute also recommends the inclusion of HIV patients in clinical immunotherapy trials.

Issels®: Defeating Advanced Cancer with Immunotherapy

Our individually tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments have helped patients achieve long-term remission, even in cases where traditional treatments have failed. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and other non-toxic treatments at Issels®.

Adoptive Cell Transfer a Natural Immunotherapy for Cancer

Adoptive Cell Transfer a Natural Immunotherapy for Cancer
Adoptive Cell Transfer a Natural Immunotherapy for Cancer09

Scientists are excited about immunotherapy for cancer because it supplements a patient’s own natural defenses of the immune system. Thanks to a recent study, researchers have made a discovery that could lead to more effective immunotherapy treatments.

What Is Adoptive Cell Transfer?

Adoptive cell transfer, one of the primary forms of immunotherapy for cancer, involves extracting a patient’s T-cells, which are a form of white blood cells that attack foreign invaders in the system. After engineering the T-cells to target the specific proteins in cancer cells, they are injected back into the patient.

While adoptive cell transfer has been successful in treating blood and bone marrow cancers, it’s been less effective with solid tumors. A team from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego set out to find a better way to program the T-cells.

Unleashing the Power of T-Cells

The researchers zeroed in on a protein known as Runx3, which appeared to specifically direct T-cells to solid tumors. During testing on animal models, it was found that overexpression of Runx3 led to delayed tumor growth and longer life.

Matthew Pipkin of Scripps said that Runx3 works on chromosomes within T-cells, enabling them to focus on killing tumor cells. Pipkin was hopeful that their discovery would pave the way for improving the effectiveness of adoptive cell transfer on solid tumors.

Issels®: The Leader in Immunotherapy for Cancer

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