How to Fight Cancer With Cancer

Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have found a way to fight cancer with cancer. The team genetically engineered cancer cells to release anti-cancer drugs at the site of established tumors, as well as stimulating the immune system against the disease. Tests in mice proved promising as both a therapy and a preventative vaccine.

Cancer vaccines are an emerging area of research, where patients are often administered inactive tumor cells or proteins expressed at high levels by cancer cells. This trains the immune system to recognize existing tumors and mount an assault on them, and can prevent the spread or appearance of new tumors. For the new study, the BWH team took a new approach, using living tumor cells instead.

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