Flu vaccines may shrink tumors and boost cancer treatment #Article

Flu vaccines may shrink tumors and boost cancer treatment #Article

There are several factors when it comes to cancer tumors that affect whether or not they can respond to the treatment. One of these is whether the tumors are "hot" or "cold." In recent years, a new form of anticancer therapy has gained popularity: immunotherapy. This treatment type works by improving the body's own immune response to cancer tumors.

However, to have a better chance of functioning for the treatment, the tumors must be "hot" tumors— that is, immune cells must be in them. If a tumor does not contain (enough) immune cells, or has immunosuppressive cells, it is considered a "cold" tumor.

Researchers have tried hard to answer one question: How do we turn cold tumors into hot tumors that contribute to immunotherapy?

A team of researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, may now have found an efficient way to do just that by using inactivated flu viruses — effectively, flu vaccines — in mouse model experiments.

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Clinical trials are research tests of experimental drugs, new drug formulations or already approved medications that are being evaluated in new / various ways for patients to treat. This may involve new drug doses or new ways to distribute the medications (schedules). Clinical experiments are the subject of strict guidelines. The aim is to help decide whether new cancer treatments are safe and successful, or better than the normal (current) care. At the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, multiple clinical trials are available for the diagnosis of breast cancer, using the best in cancer therapies.

Each patient at the Breast Cancer Center is treated with a multidisciplinary team of professionals who oversee all aspects of their care. Headed by Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, Program Manager, and Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, Clinical Director, the Breast Cancer team comprises medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists, pathologists, departmental imaging members, cancer genetics specialists, nutritionists, and physical therapists.

At the Breast Cancer Center every patient is treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists who supervise all aspects of their treatment. The Breast Cancer team, led by Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, Program Manager, and Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, Clinical Director, consists of medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, pathologists, members of the Department of Imaging, cancer genetics experts, nutritionists, and physical therapists.

"These results suggest that both [people] who respond and do not respond to other immunotherapies may eventually benefit from influenza vaccine injection into the tumor and may increase the small proportion of patients who are now long-immunotherapy respondents," says Dr. Zloza.

"Since humans and mice are genetically identical about 95 percent, the hope is that this approach will work in patients, and the next step is to conduct clinical trials to test various factors," he concludes.

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