Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital may have found another way to treat cancer; the new approach involves transforming cancer cells into anti-cancer agents. The researchers developed the new therapy approach, which can train the immune system to prevent the disease from recurring while also eliminating primary tumors.
Dr. Khalid Shah, the study’s corresponding author, stated that the group’s objective was to turn cancer cells into cancer vaccines and killers. He explained that the scientists repurposed cancer cells using gene engineering to design a therapy that eliminated tumor cells and stimulated the immune system to prevent cancer and destroy established tumors. Shah is the Department of Neurosurgery’s vice chair of research at Brigham as well as the director of the Center for Stem Cell and Translational Immunotherapy.
For their study, the researchers used living tumor cells, as observations have found that the cells usually go back to the tumor cell site. This differs from prior cancer-vaccine studies, which usually use inactivated tumor cells.
The research team used CRISPR-Cas9, a tool that can edit genes, to reverse-engineer therapeutic tumor cells (ThTC) that released an agent to kill tumor cells. These engineered cells were designed in a way that made it easy for the immune system to identify and remember them, which primed the system for a long-term immunity.
The researchers then tested their cancer-killing vaccine in an advanced glioblastoma mouse model. Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancer type that occurs in the brain and/or spinal cord. They also designed a two-layered safety switch into the cells that could eliminate therapeutic tumor cells if there was need to. They observed that this dual-action cell therapy was effective and safe in the models they used.
The researchers believe that this therapeutic strategy can be applied to an extensive range of solid tumors and emphasize that more studies on its applications be conducted.
In their report, Shah stated that the primary objective of the study was to develop a therapeutic vaccine to eliminate cancer that would have a revolutionary impact in medicine. The researchers also revealed that they used this model to make it easier to translate their findings for patient settings and highlighted the need for further development and testing.
The study’s findings were reported in “Science Translational Medicine.” It was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Other researchers involved in the study include Kok-Siong Chen, Thijs A. Van Schaik, Clemens Reinshagen, Filippo Rossignoli, Natalia Claire Mendonca, Paulo Borges, Reza Abdi, David A. Reardon, Hiroaki Wakimoto and Brennan Simon.
Brain cancers are receiving plenty of research resources from the likes of CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) and many universities. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to forecast that major breakthroughs could be on the horizon for patients afflicted with central nervous system malignancies.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to millions of social media followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.
To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “Biotech” to 844-397-5787 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information, please visit https://www.biomedwire.com
San Francisco, California
BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.