26 Jun The Breakthrough Towards Developing Personalized Cancer Vaccines And Therapeutics
Stanford University recently reported a groundbreaking discovery in stem cell research that demonstrates inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to have promising potential in the development of new personalized vaccines and therapeutics for cancer patients. In this study as published in the journal, Cell Stem Cell (2018), Stanford scientists injected iPSCs into mice and observed a significant immune response to a variety of different tumors, including breast, skin, and lung cancer.
- Since iPSCs may appear to behave similarly to cancer cells, it is hypothesized iPSCs can strengthen the immune system to better identify tumor cells and target cancers in the body.
In summary, Stanford researchers isolated inactivated iPSCs from a number of mice, modified its genetic make-up specifically tailored to each animal, and administered the vaccine back into each one, respectively. Next, the mice were induced with mouse breast cancer cells. They reported a shockingly significant 70% reduction in tumor growth in the vaccinated mice group compared to the control. Studies were repeated to investigate its efficacy against skin and lung cancer, which demonstrated similar results.
Researchers and doctors are diligently working to develop new strategies to improve cancer treatments utilizing personalized medicine since this is believed to be a much safer and effective alternative compared to current chemotherapeutic approaches.
- If this medical study can be translated to demonstrate similar efficacy and results in human trials, this can lead to a huge medical breakthrough in personalized medicine to generate new therapeutics and treatment options.
Importantly, this may even lead to the development of new cancer vaccines that can prevent a wide variety of different cancer types by “training” the immune system to recognize different cancer-specific epitopes and attack tumor cells accordingly.
iPSCs are stem cells that can be easily harvested from adult patients by simply collecting blood or skin samples. This particular type of stem cells can be induced in vitro into a pluripotent stage to modify its genetics, which enables scientists to use iPSCs cells to generate any type of cell in the human body. Using this strategy, scientists can even customize iPSCs into patient-derived cell lines by reprogramming these somatic cells to match the patient’s genetic make-up.1 If this can be accomplished in humans, doctors will have the ability to administer personalized medications and vaccines to cancer patients that will work best based on the patient’s genetic make-up and treatment plan.
- In return, cancer patients can receive more effective and safer treatment plans, especially for those suffering from chronic or life-threatening illnesses.2,3
The Regenerative Stem Cell Institute (TRSCI) is dedicated to developing new innovate therapeutics using groundbreaking stem cell technologies to address different disease, inflammatory, and degenerative conditions. Using a similar approach to iPSCs, our Chicago area specifically focuses on developing effective regenerative medicine therapies using new advances in stem cell technology, with over 8500 successful procedures performed nationwide.