Fall is typically the start to cold and flu season, which is also the time our immune systems get a good workout. Fortunately, our natural immunity is incredible in its capacity to identify and eliminate invading infections. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it could do the same with cancer? According to new cancer research, this idea isn’t as farfetched as you may think.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) decided to test whether disguising cancer as a viral infection would cause the immune system to kick into gear, and the results were amazing. By injecting small amounts of peptides (viral proteins) into tumors in mice, the immune cells were activated, shrank the tumors, and even prevented them from growing back.
The viral peptides used were from CMV (cytomegalovirus), a common virus that 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 possibility for long-term protection, and initial research is revealing this to be the case with CMV peptide treatment. And even when mice were treated with new lung cancer cells after being cured, no new tumors developed. Similar outcomes were attained with various types of cancer as well.
Besides showing to be extremely effective in the study, additional benefits that may be attained through CMV immunotherapy include:
- Treatment does not need to be customized for every person or type of cancer
- Synthetic virus peptides can be produced simply and in large quantities
- It will likely be less expensive and less time-consuming to produce than other immunotherapy treatments
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 results of upcoming clinical trials, Serenity Home Care, the leader in at-home senior care in Victoria, BC and nearby areas, is here to help someone you know through cancer treatment and beyond with customized in-home care services, such as:
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to health care appointments, procedures and treatments
- Preparing meals that align with any prescribed dietary plans while bearing in mind changes in smell, taste, and appetite from cancer treatments
- Serving as a friendly companion to brighten every day
- Assisting with household chores and laundry
- Running errands, like picking up groceries and prescriptions
- And more
Reach out to Serenity Home Care, the top provider of senior care in Victoria, BC and nearby areas, at 250.590.8098 for a complimentary consultation for more information on our services and the peace of mind you will gain from knowing you have a skilled caregiving partner by your side.