In a study cancer cells are found to act as anti-cancer agents, killing cancer cells and providing long-term immunity.
A team of researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a novel way to alter cancer cells into robust anti-cancer agents. Scientists developed a way of cell therapy through which the existing tumours can be killed using cancer cells. The immune system can be trained using cell therapy so that it can prevent the cancer recurrence. This cancer killing vaccine was tested by the researchers in an advance mouse model of the fatal brain cancer named glioblastoma and the result was promising.
As per the correspondent author, Khalid Shah (PhD) who is the director of CSTI, the team of researchers followed a simple concept of transforming the cancer cells into cancer killers. This research was done using gene engineering. Instead of using inactivated tumor cells the team used and transformed the living tumor cells. Using CRISPR-Cas9, a gene editing tool, living tumor cells were engineered by the team for releasing tumor cell eliminating agent. These engineered cells were tested in different strains of mice including one which imitated the microenvironment of human immune system. Shah’s team particularly selected this mouse model to make a smooth path for using the findings on patients in future.
For many labs, cancer vaccines have been an important field of research. However, Shah and his team had a very different approach towards the research. Their research study showed that the dual-action cell therapy was usable, safe and effective which proposes a way for future therapy. It was noted by the researchers that this therapeutic strategy can be used on vast range of solid tumors. For the future application of this therapy further research is required.