Scientists have found a way to “force” the immune system to attack cancer cells


A new way to get the immune system to attack cancer cells has been discovered

Researchers have found that removed, damaged and then reintroduced into the tumor, cancer cells act as triggers for the activation of the immune system.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new cancer treatment based on a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The results of the study were published in the journal Science Signaling. News Medical.

Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment strategy by stimulating the human immune system to kill tumor cells. One of the most promising of its methods is based on the shutdown of depleted T cells, which can no longer attack the tumor. This method is effective, for example, in the treatment of melanoma, but it is not useful in many other types of cancer.

Therefore, scientists are looking for ways to increase the activity of T cells.

The authors of the work found that if the cells of a removed tumor are treated with chemotherapy drugs, and then returned along with drugs to the tumor, then they induce the T cells to act.

“When you create cells that have DNA damage but do not die, under certain conditions, these living damaged cells can send a signal that awakens the immune system,” said study leader Professor Michael Yaffe.

In experiments on mice, the most effective were low doses of drugs that did not completely kill the cells. This showed the scientists that the immune system is stimulated not by dead tumor cells, but by those that were damaged by chemotherapy, but remained alive.

This is a new concept for immunogenic cell damage, not immunogenic cell death for cancer treatments, Jaffe said.

The new method completely eliminated tumors in almost half of the mice. In addition, when cancer cells were injected into the same animals several months later, the T cells were recognized and destroyed before the formation of a new tumor began.

The authors of the study hope that the method they developed will be applied to treat a wide variety of cancers.

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