Researchers at the Cincinnati Cancer Center have possibly found a cancer vaccine that seems to target tumors which make a certain type of protein that is responsible for communication sent between the body’s immune system and cells. This might start up an immune response that could fight cancer. If so then a vaccine that enhances the response of the immune system toward the enemy tumor cells could be created.
This discovery was printed up in Thursday’s edition of the journal Gene Therapy. It was built on prior cancer vaccine research and might lead to new treatments for cancer. The main research investigator, John Morris, MD, who was the study co-leader of the program, stated that a number of antitumor vaccines have shown much potential in creating immune responses against tumor antigens in order to possibly improve the outcome of patients health reactions.
Just recently, human interleukin-15 entered clinical trials for treatment of patients who were suffering from the skin cancer melanoma, and also renal cancer. In the research study, the scientists tested the usefulness of a vaccination which targeted tumors and then tested their ability to increase immune reactions to tumor antigens. The researchers were able to stop tumor cells from reproducing.
Scientists used the cells known as IL-15, which are a protein that occurs naturally in humans and encourages cell killing responses from the human immune system and IL-15R alpha is the receptor of the protein, to use to create a tumor cell vaccine that targeted both prostate and breast cancer cells in animals. The results ended up showing that tumor cells were halted after the vaccines were put into the bodies and that beneficial health effects were boosted even more so when IL-15R was also produced by the vaccine cells.
Being vaccinated by the modified tumor cells that produced both IL-15 and IL-15R vaccines ended up slowing tumor growth and also led to improved survival times for the animals that were tested. Additionally, the cells that controlled the immune responses were higher in such tumors, which showed certain evidence that a real immune response was happening. IL-15 was shown to be a strong pro-inflammatory protein that is able to improve immune responses. These findings show that naturally changing tumor cells to create IL-15 and IL-15R cells can enrich immune reactions to tumor antigens in the tumor cells and can be used instead as vaccines to go after the antigens instead.
So far, vaccines are basically new in the development of the treatment of cancer. There are only two types of vaccines that have been officially approved to stop cancer. One is the human papillomavirus vaccine which prevent infection from the virus that causes most cervical, anal, neck and head cancers, and also the hepatitis B vaccine which is used to prevent infection from the virus that could lead to cancer of the liver.
Researchers at the Cincinnati Cancer Center have found a vaccine that seems to target tumors which make a certain type of protein that is responsible for communication sent between the body’s immune system and cells. This might start up an immune response that could fight cancer. If so then a vaccine that enhances the response of the immune system toward the enemy tumor cells could be created.
By Kimberly Ruble