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Experimental cancer vaccine boosts effectiveness of existing treatment to 100%

/ 05:37 PM September 11, 2018

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An experimental cancer vaccine has been found to boost the effectiveness of an existing treatment up to a 100 percent success rate.

The vaccine, developed by a team from UT Southwestern Medical Center, used a molecule called Diprovocim. It boosted the effectiveness of cancer-fighting cells in tandem with an existing cancer treatment, reports Drug Target Review.

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The study, co-led by Scripps Researcher Professor Dr. Dale Boger and Nobel laureate Bruce Beutler of Southwestern, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The research team tested Diprovocim with anti-cancer therapy anti-PD-L1 and alum on mice with melanoma, an aggressive type of cancer that develops from pigment cells called melanocytes. Melanoma typically starts on the skin but may also develop in the mouth, eye or intestines. If treated early, melanoma can be cured, but it can be fatal if allowed to spread in the body.

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Observations showed a 100 percent survival rate for the mice that received PD-L1 with Diprovocim. A 25 percent survival rate was observed with PD-L1 plus alum, and zero survival for those that only got PD-L1 treatment.

What the vaccine did was to stimulate the immune system to create and direct cancer-fighting cells, or tumor-infiltrating leukocytes, to attack tumors. Since immunotherapy procedures like PD-L1 already boost a body’s natural defenses, the added Diprovocim essentially put the system into overdrive.

The Diprovocim molecule was also easy to synthesize, according to the scientists, which further made its medical application more promising.

As an added result to the 100 percent success rate, the researchers found that the surviving mice developed a resistance when they tried to re-establish the tumor. “It wouldn’t take. The animal is already vaccinated against it,” said Boger.

Moving forward, the team planned to do other tests and see how Diprovocim works with other cancer therapies, which may target different forms of cancer.  Alfred Bayle /ra

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TAGS: cancer treatment, cancer vaccine, Diprovocim, immunotherapy
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