LOS ANGELES (CBSLocal) – Scientists at Stanford University’s School of Medicine have announced that tests of their new treatment for cancer successfully wiped out all of the tumors in a group of mice. Researchers are now hoping their experiments lead to a “vaccine” for human cancer patients.
The new treatment, which was directly injected into the tumor sites of 90 mice, cured 87 mice of the disease. Stanford’s formula contains two immune-stimulating agents which were so effective they eliminated the tumors they were injected into as well as reduced the tumors in untreated parts of the mice. The three subjects that relapsed were given a second shot of the new treatment which cleared up the tumors again.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” Dr. Ronald Levy, professor of oncology said in a university release. “Our approach uses a one-time application of very small amounts of two agents to stimulate the immune cells only within the tumor itself. In the mice, we saw amazing, bodywide effects.”
Levy and his team add that the new treatment could create a fast and inexpensive way to eliminate cancer. Compared to standard treatments which try to stimulate the entire body’s immune system at once and raises costs, the Stanford vaccine only delivers a small amount of medication to a specific tumor area.
The next step for the scientists is a small trial with 15 people who have been diagnosed with low-grade lymphoma. If the injections are successful, Dr. Levy says the treatment could one day eliminate the need for the surgical removal of all kinds of tumors. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the type of tumor we could potentially treat, as long as it has been infiltrated by the immune system.”