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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Turning Tumors into Therapy
2 October 1997 8:00 pm
A team of researchers has immunized mice with proteins derived from their own cancer cells. The treatment, reported in tomorrow's Science*, dramatically slowed the spread of several types of cancer.
A group of researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington made the vaccine by purifying heat shock proteins (HSP), which are released by stressed cells and alert the immune system to destroy them. To test the vaccine's ability to halt the spread of cancer, the researchers injected cancerous lung cells into the footpads of mice. The tumors were removed once they were 5 millimeters wide, and half the mice received weekly doses of heat shock proteins purified from the same type of cancer cells that had been injected. Control mice that were given saline solution all died within 45 days from cancer that had spread from tiny remnants of the tumor. But 80% of the vaccinated mice survived free of cancerous lesions for 250 days. The team had similar success with colon cancer and melanoma.
"We've proved the HSP vaccines can be used as a general strategy to treat a variety of tumors in mice," says Ping Peng, an immunologist with the team. The research is a milestone, says Hans Schreiber, an immunologist and cancer researcher at the University of Chicago. By purifying heat shock proteins from cancers, "you can get individualized therapies," he says. "That is a major breakthrough."