A nanovaccine could be used as defense from mutliple cancers

A unique nanovaccine which targets several different cancer types has been developed by researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center

This nanovaccine consists of cancer proteins that are recognized by the immune system.   The Nanoparticle vaccines delivers minuscule particulates to the body.  These small particles stimulate the immune system to create an immune response against any potential cancer. This helps people’s own bodies fight cancer in just the same way that vaccines against viruses trigger the bodies immune system.

Recent nanovaccine research

The high profile journal, Nature Nanotechnology just published a study which reports a nanovaccine which has anti-cancer properties to multiple tumor types, in mice.

A study outlining this research, published online in Nature Nanotechnology, reported that the nanovaccine had anti-tumor efficacy in multiple tumor types in mice.

Dr Jinming Gao,  Professor of Pharmacology & Otolaryngology in UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center who was part of this study said

“What is unique about our design is the simplicity of the single-polymer composition that can precisely deliver tumor antigens to immune cells while stimulating innate immunity. These actions result in safe and robust production of tumor-specific T cells that kill cancer cells,”

Why is this nanovaccine report important?

Normal vaccines ask the immune system to pick up the cancer proteins and take them to lymph organs where they are processed and activate the immune system to fight against cancer.  Nanovaccine work slightly differently, they go straight to the lymph organs themselves to activate the immune system

“For nanoparticle vaccines to work, they must deliver antigens to proper cellular compartments within specialized immune cells called antigen-presenting cells and stimulate innate immunity,”

said Dr. Chen, who was also pat of the study and holder of the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science.

“Our nanovaccine did all of those things.”

A much more direct approach which could be more efficient

Which cancer will this work for?

The scientist looked at several cancers in mice

  • colorectal cancer
  • melanoma
  • cervical cancer
  • head cancer
  • neck cancer

In most cases, the nanovaccine slowed growth of  their tumors  and extended the lives of the mice

“Recent advances in understanding innate and adaptive immunity have also led to more collaborations between immunologists and nanotechnologists,”

said Dr. Chen.

“These partnerships are critical in propelling the rapid development of new generations of nanovaccines.”

The researchers are now working with clinicians at UT Southwestern to explore testing of these nanovaccines in a variety of cancer indications. Combining nanovaccines with therapies could possibly further help their anti-tumor effectiveness.

Who knows?,  there may be one vaccine against ALL cancers for our children, or grandchildren.

Article sources

  1. Min Luo, Hua Wang, Zhaohui Wang, Haocheng Cai, Zhigang Lu, Yang Li, Mingjian Du, Gang Huang, Chensu Wang, Xiang Chen, Matthew R. Porembka, Jayanthi Lea, Arthur E. Frankel, Yang-Xin Fu, Zhijian J. Chen, Jinming Gao. A STING-activating nanovaccine for cancer immunotherapy. Nature Nanotechnology, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2017.52
  2. UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2017.

Further reading

Scientists have cured prostate cancer in mice using the immune system

Scientists have made tumour cells more susceptible to cancer treatment

Is cancer a death sentence? Simple answer- NO!

Dr Shara Cohen

Dr Cohen started her working life as a research scientist and lecturer with over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

She followed a classical scientific career until she left mainstream science in 2000 (which coincided with the birth of her first daughter) to establish the Life Science Communications company, Euroscicon Ltd.

Euroscicon Ltd was her first company (which she sold in 2016).

In 2013 she was diagnosed with Cancer and set up Cancer Care Parcel

She also works with and establishes businesses and charities which benefit local, national and international communities via her company – The Pein Consultancy Ltd

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