Scientists are working on a universal cure for cancer. The hopes for this medical breakthrough are high since this cure is expected to even eliminate the side-effects of chemotherapy.
Initial experiments on mice have been positive after experts managed to manipulate the immune system of the rodents into attacking and defeating several types of cancer.
In what could be a historic moment for humanity, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany then applied the same technique to human sufferers of cancer, and found that small doses of the vaccine were influential.
They had side-effects including flu-like symptoms, which is relatively insignificant compared to the gruelling side-effects of chemotherapy.
The results were almost miraculous in mice, with, for example, lung cancer in the rodents cured within 20 days.
The doctors had feared the doses for the humans would be too small, but although it didn’t eradicate the cancer, it did stimulate their immune system which had anti-cancer benefits, according to their study published in the journal Nature.
Professor Alan Melcher, from the Institute of Cancer Research who was not involved in the study, said: “Immunotherapy for cancer is a rapidly evolving and exciting field.
“This new study, in mice and a small number of patients, shows that an immune response against the antigens within a cancer can be triggered by a new type of cancer vaccine.”
The treatment involved placing sections of the cancer’s RNA code into nanoparticles of fat, which the scientists injected into the bloodstream of the mice.
After the RNA was detected by the mice’s dendritic cells, a chemical called interferon-α (IFNα) was then released, which caused T-cells in the mice to target all tumour cells which had the newly injected RNA code in it.
Professor Melcher added: “Although the research is very interesting, it is still some way away from being of proven benefit to patients.
“In particular, there is uncertainty around whether the therapeutic benefit seen in the mice by targeting a small number of antigens will also apply to humans, and the practical challenge of manufacturing nanoparticles for widespread clinical application.”