Researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a method to trigger prolonged immune responses to cancer.
This method works in direct correlation to existing Immunotherapy Treatments, which are designed specifically to target the cancer cells in the body.
The treatment in question involves using DNA sequences derived from a bacteria called unmethylated cytosine-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG) as a means of activating the immune system to kill nearby cancer cells.
Since the DNA strings are already foreign elements, it doesn’t take long before the body launches a full scale attack, killing the surrounding cancer cells in the process as well.
While the treatment may not be as sophisticated a technique as Activating Immune Cells, it is still capable of generating a big enough attack to be effective.
However, the problem that remained with this treatment was that CpG doesn’t remain present inside the infected area long enough for the body to take care of all the cancer cells.
For this reason, the researchers decided that they would create a safe delivery mechanism, which would make sure that the strings remained in place for as long as they were needed.
To make this possible, they developed DNA-inorganic hybrid nanovaccines (hNVs), which is a fancy name for particles that contain multiple CpG DNA strings in a flowery shape, making them easier to grab onto for the immune cells.
The difference between the numbers and sizes of strings also makes sure that the size of the particles also vary from one to another, so that they can stick into various cervices of the tumor, making them hard to wash away.
The team has already tested this unique mechanism in experiments on mice, with positive results. They will now work on adapting this technology to humans as well.