Injecting small amounts of two immune-stimulating agents into tumors can eliminate all traces of cancer in mice, even distant, untreated metastases, according to a new study. The approach works for many different types of cancers.
Researchers believe very small amounts of the agents could serve as a rapid and inexpensive cancer treatment that is unlikely to cause the same adverse side effects often seen with whole body immunotherapy.
One of the agents is already approved for use in humans; the other has been tested for human use. A clinical trial was launched to test the effect on patients with lymphoma.
Immune cells recognize the abnormal proteins often present on cancer cells and attack the tumor. As tumors grow, they often suppress the activity of the T cells. Treatments like these would stop that suppression, or mitigate its impact on immune cells.