Fall is typically the start to cold and flu season, which is also the time our immune systems get a workout. Thankfully, our natural immunity is amazing in its ability to detect and eradicate invading infections. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could do the same with cancer?
Actually, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had the exact same thought and the results are a promising new advancement in cancer treatment. Researchers decided to test whether disguising cancer as a viral infection would prompt the immune system to kick into gear, and the results were incredible. By injecting small bits of peptides (viral proteins) into tumors in mice, the immune cells were stimulated, the tumors shrank, and they stopped growing back.
The viral peptides used were from CMV (cytomegalovirus), a common virus which is recognized by most people’s immune systems and normally does not cause any symptoms. Once someone is infected with CMV, it stays with them for life. And, as John Schiller, Ph.D. of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research points out, “It’s one of the few immune responses that gets better as you get older.”
Immunotherapy like this also offers the potential for long-term protection, and early research is revealing this to be the case with CMV peptide treatment. And even when mice were injected with new lung cancer cells after being cured, no new tumors began to develop. Comparable outcomes were attained with different forms of cancer as well.
In addition to showing to be extremely effective in the study, additional advantages that may be attained through CMV immunotherapy include:
- It will likely be less expensive and less time-consuming to create than other immunotherapy treatments.
- Treatment does not need to be customized for each person or type of cancer.
- Synthetic virus peptides can be produced simply and in large volumes.
Dr. Schiller adds that this is a “simple, off-the-shelf product that you could even use in low-resource settings because it doesn’t require sophisticated molecular profiling of tumors.”
While we excitedly await the outcomes of upcoming clinical trials, CareWorks Health Services is here to help someone you love through cancer treatment and beyond with personalized homecare services, for example:
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to health care appointments, procedures, and treatments
- Serving as a friendly companion to brighten each day
- Helping with household chores and laundry
- Preparing meals that align with any prescribed dietary plans and taking into consideration alterations in taste, smell, and appetite
Reach out to us at (949) 859-4700 for a no-cost consultation to learn more about our home health services in Huntington Beach, CA and nearby communities and the peace of mind you will attain from knowing you have a highly trained care partner by your side.