Fighting cancer by stimulating the immune system with injections directly into the tumor

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This past April, Mount Sinai oncologist Joshua Brody and his team announced a clinical trial that delivers immune modulators directly to the tumor environment that stimulate a patient’s immune system to treat several types of cancer. The approach is called in situ vaccination, and it can take many forms such as a virus or targeted radiation. What they all have in common is that they are delivered directly into a tumor to help the immune system recognize and attack the malignancy and then, ideally, other cancer cells that have metastasized throughout the body. 

Along with the clinical trial announcement, Brody and his team published preliminary data showing that 8 out of 11 patients with lymphoma saw their treated tumors shrink.

Now, thanks to a more complete picture of adaptive immunity and the advancement of immune-stimulating approaches to treating cancer, in situ vaccination has seen a resurgence of interest, with many researchers excited about the possibility of combining the technique with other immunotherapies.  In fact, in the new trial, Brody’s patients will receive both the vaccine and a checkpoint inhibitor, which takes the brakes off the immune system.

Read full, original post: In Situ Vaccination: A Cancer Treatment a Century in the Making

Related article:  'Headed down the wrong road': The quest for precision medicine distracts us from what already works
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