New hope in cancer treatment, from Stanford University scientists


(3) Watch the T cells attack cancer throughout the body.” It’s a rapid and relatively inexpensive cancer therapy with two agents: an innate immune system activator called CpG, and a stimulatory antibody called anti-OX40. Possibly, this will not cause the adverse side effects often seen with body-wide immune stimulation. In 87 of 90 mice, the cancers were eradicated. Although the cancer recurred in three of the mice, the tumors again regressed after a second treatment.


The researchers saw similar results in mice bearing breast, colon, and melanoma tumors. “Our approach uses a one-time application of very small amounts of two agents to stimulate the immune cells only within the tumor itself. In the mice, we saw amazing, body-wide effects, including the elimination of tumors all over the animal,” the oncologist Ronald Levy, M.D., said. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the type of tumor we could potentially treat, as long as it has been infiltrated by the immune system,” he added. One of the agents is currently already approved for use in humans; the other has been tested for human use in several unrelated clinical trials. A clinical trial was launched in January to test the effect of the treatment in patients with lymphoma.


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