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Conventional cancer treatment has been a trusted approach for many years, but it is not without its shortcomings.

One of the primary issues with this type of treatment is that it targets all fast-growing cells, both healthy and cancerous. This means that while it effectively works to treat cancer, it can also be damaging to healthy fast-growing cells in the microbiome and immune system.

As a result, many researchers are looking into alternative forms of treatment that are more precise and target only cancerous cells.

Stanford scientists developed synthetic immunotherapy that seeks out and destroys tumors in mice with aggressive cancers.

This molecule combines a tumor-targeting agent with an immune-stimulating molecule, allowing it to be administered intravenously.

When injected into laboratory mice, this molecule was found to promote immune activation and tumor regression.

The study shows that the molecule prolonged the survival of mice with aggressive triple-negative breast cancer, and even induced complete tumor regression in some mice with pancreatic cancer.

“We essentially cured some animals with just a few injections,” said Jennifer Cochran, PhD, the Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering. “It was pretty astonishing. When we looked within the tumors, we saw they went from a highly immunosuppressive microenvironment to one full of activated B and T cells — similar to what happens when the immune-stimulating molecule is injected directly into the tumor. So, we’re achieving intra-tumoral injection results but with an IV delivery.”

CREDIT – Cell.com – Stanford Study

The molecule is versatile and can target various types of tumors, making it a promising candidate for off-the-shelf treatments. Further studies are needed to determine if it is safe and effective for humans.

After more than 10 years of work on PIP, it is rewarding to experience this convergence of expertise from laboratories around Stanford, which allowed us to develop a highly promising new cancer treatment strategy,” Cochran said.

Read more > Standford University

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