A cancer vaccine has been tested on mice that were suffering from aggressive melanoma, with a new study revealing that there was a stunning 100 percent success rate in the mice that were treated.
As ScienceAlert reports, an immunotherapy drug was used in addition to the new vaccine — the combination of this drug and the vaccine significantly improving the outcome for these mice.
Even more exciting was the discovery by researchers that this cancer vaccine and drug also helped to prevent a recurrence of melanoma further down the line.
Dale Boger, from the Scripps Research Institute in California, explained that the new vaccine was able to head straight to the tumor in question.
“This co-therapy produced a complete response — a curative response — in the treatment of melanoma. Just as a vaccine can train the body to fight off external pathogens, this vaccine trains the immune system to go after the tumor.”
To learn what drug would work best in combination with the cancer vaccine, scientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Scripps waded through 100,000 different compounds to determine which one would be the best choice to work alongside the cancer vaccine. As it turned out, Diprovocim worked splendidly.
A New Cancer Vaccine Shown to Be 100% Effective in Mice With Aggressive Melanoma https://t.co/pdZ3VgdxOi— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) September 11, 2018
The group of mice that were treated with the cancer vaccine all suffered from aggressive melanoma, but with just a slight difference. In this case, the melanoma was genetically engineered so that scientists could research how their immune systems responded to the cancer. This was achieved by adding the marker ovalbumin to the mix.
During the new study, scientists had three different groups of mice that they worked with, with eight mice inside each of these groups. The cancer immunotherapy drug anti-PD-L1 was used on all mice, but there the similarity ends as once the mice were split into three groups they received different treatments.
The first group of mice were injected with just ovalbumin and the normal anti-PD-L1, while the second group of mice received all of these plus Diprovocim, with the theory being that this may help to boost the immune system response of the mice.
The third group were given ovalbumin and anti-PD-L1 just like the first two groups, but instead of testing out Diprovocim, alum was used instead to help the immune system in these mice.
Taking stock of the health of these mice 54 days into the experiment, there was no survival rate at all for the first group of mice. The third group who were injected with alum were found to have a 25 percent survival rate. The second group of mice — who were given Diprovocim along with ovalbumin and anti-PD-L1 — were the clear winners, achieving an amazing 100 percent survival rate.
“The researchers observed a 100 percent survival rate over 54 days in the mice given the #cancer vaccine and Diprovocim. This was in contrast to a zero percent survival rate in mice given only the cancer vaccine and a 25 percent survival rate in mice...” https://t.co/fmOfNnSZxb— Alice Minguez (@AliceMinguez) September 10, 2018
After studying the curative effects of the new cancer vaccine on these mice who were suffering from melanoma, scientists later tried to create new tumors in the mice but, according to Boger, “It wouldn’t take. The animal is already vaccinated against it.”
The study in question was published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.