Stanford University researchers have found a way to clear cancer in mice with immune-system stimulating injections. Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have developed the potential treatment using two agents that boost the body’s immune system.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumours all over the body,” said senior researcher, oncologist Ronald Levy. The new approach is a form of immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own disease-fighting power to battle cancer.
In Levy’s experiment, the cancer-fighting T cells from the immune system were rejuvenated when a microgram (one-millionth of a gram) amount of the two immune boosters was injected into a mouse’s lymphoma tumour. Those same cells then moved on from the tumour it destroyed to find any other identical cancers in the body. Although the injection was successful in eliminating the targeted tumours present in the mouse, the T cells did not move on to a colon cancer tumor also found in the animal.
The experiment was replicated in 90 other mice and was successful in eradicating the tumours in 87 of them, allowing the researchers to declare them cancer-free. Cancer did recur in three of the animals, but the tumors later regressed after another round of immune treatment. The study was also successful in mice that had breast, colon and melanoma tumors.