Is a revolutionary way to fight cancer on the horizon? Cincinnati researchers say yes.
There's more to the story when you become an Insider. WCPO Insider's membership is an additional benefit on top of everything you can get for free on WCPO.com. We created an entire digital organization dedicated to bringing you exclusive access to in-depth stories that you can’t get anywhere else, handpicked events, and incredible savings on things you love to do. To find out more click here.
CINCINNATI -- Is a revolutionary way to fight cancer on the horizon? Cincinnati researchers say yes.
New studies find that a vaccine could initiate the immune system’s response to fight cancer.
The discovery revolves around human Interleukin-15 (IL-15), a powerful pro-inflammatory protein that can enhance immune responses, according to principal investigator John Morris, MD.
“Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a natural immune stimulating hormone that occurs in the body,” Morris said. “The hormone stimulates Killer-T cells that stimulates them to grow and become very active and attack cancer cells and virus infected cells.”
Morris says a number of laboratories have been working on IL-15 for some time, but only recently has the gene been cloned. Now it’s being looked at as a direct treatment for cancer.
Other vaccines like Gardasil are against infections that can lead to cancer, but once you develop the cancer, the vaccines are worthless, Morris says.
A study by the researchers used mice that already had existing tumors. Once vaccinated, the tumors in the mice stopped growing.
“Two years ago the FDA approved a prostate cancer vaccine that actually worked on men who already had cancer and weren’t responding to other treatment,” Morris said.
Morris believes this research is a game-changer.
“I think cancer vaccines are the new way for cancer treatment,” Morris said. “This is going to revolutionize how we look at treating cancer.”
To read more about Interleukin-15's biology and its therapeutic implications in cancer, CLICK HERE.