What if You Could Vaccinate Against Cancer With an Implant?


Researchers are working on a new treatment to fight late-stage cancer like melanoma and the secret weapon might just be a pill-sized implant under the skin.

A team of Boston doctors and scientists are developing an approach to fighting cancer that involves using the patient’s body to build up a immune reaction to cancer cells. The experimental process involves doctors placing a small sponge under the patient’s skin. The sponge consists of polymers that mimic infection and signal immune T cells to come to it before reprogramming them to fight cancer cells.

“We’re trying to take the biology that normally happens in a lab and instead move it into the human body, and it’s all orchestrated by these little pieces of plastic. It looks like it might be more powerful than the traditional way of pursuing cancer vaccines and it clearly could be much less expensive and much less of a regulatory burden as well,” said professor of bioengineering and team member David Mooney.

The potential new treatment has been underway for a two-year clinical trail at the Dana Farber Cancer Center after a 90 percent survival rate in lab mice.

While the new treatment is still in the Phase I stage to determine its safety, researchers are optimistic about it being used to treat other forms of cancer in addition to melanoma.

Via SingularityHub

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