Cancer Immunotherapy

Biodegradable Cancer Immunotherapy

Cancer immunotherapy is beckon of hope. It is using of immunity by activating our own immune system to reduce cancer.

This is the Yale University publication on bio-degradable Immuno-therapy method for cancer therapy.

In cancer cases, the tumors are capable of suppressing the host’s natural defenses by producing agents that interrupt and ceases the production and operating process of immune system.

Hence, scientists from Yale University have developed a new mechanism which attacks the tumor areas stimulating the immune system of the body and simultaneously weakens the ability of the tumor in resisting to the immune system of our body.

A new biodegradable nano-particle is developed by the Yale team members, which liberates a combination of two different therapeutic agents to tumor sites, slowly releasing the agents into the tumor vessels.

The two different therapeutic agents present in the biodegradable nano-particle are:-

  1. Cytokine, a large soluble protein – It stimulates the body’s natural immune response.
  2. A small molecule drug inhibitor which is insoluble – This weakens the ability of the tumor in suppressing the immune system of our body.

Other drug combinations are also possible.

The double-loaded particle called a nano-gel  is tested on live mice, by the researchers. The nano-gel is administered both intravenously and directly into the tumors in different experiments. More animal tests are planned in future.

A bio-engineer at Yale University and the project’s principal investigator Tarek M. Fahmy says “We believe this is a paradigm-changing immuno-therapeutic method for cancer therapy. In essence, it’s a one-two punch strategy that seems to work well for melanoma and may work even better with other cancers.”

Invention of a particle that enabled slow release of both the therapeutic agents with different characteristics was the main challenge faced by the researchers.

The researchers reported their results in the journal “Nature Materials”. The components that they have used for this nano-particle were already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This could speed up the future experiments on cancer immunotherapy with other ingredients and human trials.


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