The engineers at the University of California San Diego have come up with an experimental vaccine that could prevent the spread of metastatic cancers to the lung. The key ingredients of this vaccine are nanoparticles that are engineered to target a protein which plays an important role in the growth and spread of cancer. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the article titled, “Viral nanoparticle vaccines against S100A9 reduce lung tumor seeding and metastasis.” Lung cancer continues to remain one of the leading causes behind cancer-related deaths all across the world.
In this study, they found that the vaccine was able to significantly reduce the spread if metastatic breast and skin cancers to the lungs in Mice. Also, it improved the survival rate in Mice with metastatic breast cancer after surgical removal of the primary tumor. Metastatic lung cancer accounts for most cancer-related deaths and continues to be one of the toughest challenges in treatment of cancer.
The vaccine was tested in metastatic mouse models of melanoma and triple negative breast cancer. They administer healthy Mice with vaccine and then challenged with either melanoma or triple-negative breast cancer cells through intravenous injection. They found that vaccinated Mice exhibited a significant reduction in lung tumor growth in comparison to those who were not vaccinated. The researchers also noted that the vaccine strategy was able to combat tumor spread but not the primary tumor itself.
Before the vaccine can progress to human trials, more comprehensive safety studies are required to be performed. The future studies will also explore the effectiveness of vaccine when combined with other cancer therapies. This study was performed by Nicole Steinmetz, PhD, a professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and his team.
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