October 4, 2022
Fall is typically the start to cold and flu season, which is also the time our immune systems get a good workout. Thankfully, our natural immunity is extraordinary in its capability to identify and eradicate invading infections. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could do the same with cancer? A new cancer treatment may be the key.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) had the same thought. Scientists decided to test whether disguising cancer as a viral infection would prompt the immune system to kick into gear, and the results were spectacular. By injecting small amounts of peptides (viral proteins) into tumors in mice, the immune cells were triggered, shrank the tumors, and even prevented them from growing back.
The viral peptides used were from CMV (cytomegalovirus), a standard virus which is recognized by most people’s immune systems and usually does not cause any symptoms. Once someone is infected with CMV, it stays with them for life. And, as John Schiller, Ph.D. of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research said, “It’s one of the few immune responses that gets better as you get older.”
Immunotherapy such as this also offers the potential for long-term protection, and early research is revealing this to be the case with CMV peptide treatment. And even when mice were injected with new lung cancer cells after being cured, no new tumors began to develop. Comparable results were attained with various types of cancer as well.
In addition to showing to be extremely effective in the study, additional benefits that may be achieved through this new cancer treatment include:
- Treatment doesn’t need to be customized for every person or form of cancer
- Synthetic virus peptides could be produced simply and in large quantities
- It will likely be more economical and less time-consuming to create than other immunotherapy treatments
Dr. Schiller adds that this truly is a “simple, off-the-shelf product that you could even use in low-resource settings because it doesn’t require sophisticated molecular profiling of tumors.”
As we excitedly await the results of upcoming clinical trials, Continuum’s providers of senior home care in Clayton and the surrounding areas are here to help someone you love through cancer treatment and beyond with personalized in-home care services, such as:
- Preparing meals that are in line with any prescribed dietary plans and keeping in mind changes in smell, taste, and appetite
- Serving as a friendly companion to brighten each day
- Running errands, like picking up prescriptions and groceries
- Assisting with household chores and laundry
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, treatments, and procedures
Contact us online or call us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 for a complimentary consultation to learn more about our services and the peace of mind you will gain from knowing you have a highly skilled care partner by your side.