Imagine being able to renovate human gene cells that would be able to take on and thwart any disease?
Cancer cells are normal cells that have “lost their way.” They have lost their function and grow rapidly and ultimately will kill its host when left alone. The immune system of the body has a particular group of cells known as dendritic cells. Dendritic cells act as scouts; on the look out for foreign and invading cells. These cells when finding an intruder will call upon another group of cell, T-cells, to initiate a battle with the invaders. Because the nature of cancer cells is already similar to normal cells, the dendritic cells will overlook cancer cells and avoid them.
A custom ordered vaccine could be produced for particular cancers by extracting its genetic profile. This potential and hopeful vaccine would be injected where immune cells would then recognize the particular gene code as foreign and cancer and begin an immune response against these harmful cells. T-cells would now know to fight cancer.
Three patients with malignant melanoma, a skin cancer, were treated with a low dose of the new vaccine. All three patients responded favorably to this potential cure, T-cells were produced to fight cancer. The T-cells worked against cancer in much the same way these cells would attack a virus or bacteria. Interestingly, the side effects of the vaccine was a short duration of flu-like symptoms.
Dr. Aine McCarthy, a Senior Science Information Officer of Cancer Research, UK explains, “Because the vaccine was only tested in three patients, larger clinical trials are still needed to confirm it works and is safe, while more research will determine if it could be used to treat other types of cancer.”