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Researchers found that when they turned cancer cells into immune cells, they were able to teach other immune cells how to attack cancer.
“This approach could open up an entirely new therapeutic approach to treating cancer,” said Ravi Majeti, the study’s senior author.
T cells, which are part of the immune system that learns to identify and attack new pathogens, can be trained to recognize specific cancer antigens.
But there are many cancer antigens, and physicians sometimes need to guess which ones will be most potent.
They programmed mouse leukemia cells so that some of them could be induced to transform themselves into APCs.
On testing their cancer vaccine strategy on the mouse immune system, the mice successfully cleared the cancer.
“In the future we might be able to take out tumor cells, transform them into APCs and give them back to patients as a therapeutic cancer vaccine.” he added.
The research was published in Cancer Discovery and was carried out at Stanford Medicine.