The key to helping the body fight cancer… flu: Injections modelled on the jabs given to fight viruses could trick the body into thinking he tumours are more like influenza and boost your immune system’s response, scientist suggests
An injection that helps the body fight cancer as powerfully as flu could be one step closer after a scientific breakthrough.
It has long been a frustration for doctors that the body is good at fighting viruses like the flu, but bad at fighting cancer.
By studying mice with melanoma skin cancer, scientists have now discovered that tumors not only trick the immune cells around them into not recognizing how dangerous they are, but also the lymph nodes – an important part of the immune system.
They injected the mice with artificial genetic code, like that seen in the flu virus, which made the cancer appear dangerous and the lymph nodes responded more strongly.
Dr. Ed Roberts, who led the research from the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute and the University of Glasgow, said: ‘These lymph nodes play an important role in the fight against cancer, but at the moment they are reacting to it as if it were a small cut in the skin is. finger.’
An injection that helps the body fight cancer as powerfully as flu could be one step closer after a scientific breakthrough
It has long been a frustration for doctors that the body is good at fighting viruses like flu, but bad at fighting cancer
He added: ‘By making cancer more like flu, we can get the lymph nodes to respond much more aggressively.’
The cells that alert the immune system to dangers are called dendritic cells.
They ‘eat’ a piece of tumor to show it to immune cells that have to fight it, the so-called T cells.
But the dendritic cells convey the misleading message that tumors are relatively harmless.
The researchers realized that dendritic cells carried messages about tumors to the lymph nodes after painting proteins in the tumors bright green and seeing pieces of them appear at the nodes.
The study, published in the journal Science Immunology, raises hopes that a similar shot could help human cancer patients fight the disease, although more research is needed.
Cancer Research UK’s director of research, Dr Catherine Elliott, said: ‘This exciting research could help us find ways to help our own bodies fight cancer more powerfully.’