STANFORD, Calif. — An incredible breakthrough in cancer research was announced last week by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine when a cancer "vaccine" successfully eliminated tumors in mice.
The study found that by injecting small amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid lymphoma tumors in mice, they were able to eliminate all traces of cancer in the animals. The vaccine reportedly cured cancer in 87 out of 90 mice. The study added that although the cancer returned in three mice, the tumors regressed after a second treatment. The researchers saw similar results in mice bearing breast, colon and melanoma tumors.
The approach worked for many different types of cancers, including those that arise spontaneously, the study found.
Researchers believe that the vaccine would serve as a rapid and relatively inexpensive form of cancer therapy. The study also states that the vaccine is unlikely to cause such detrimental side effects as other cancer treatments are known to cause.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” said Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology. “This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets and doesn’t require wholesale activation of the immune system or customization of a patient’s immune cells.”
One of the two agents has already been approved for human trials; the other has been tested for human use in several unrelated clinical trials, according to the study.
A clinical trial was launched in January 2018 to test the effect of the treatment in human patients with lymphoma cancer.