An experimental cancer vaccine that teaches the body to destroy tumors sends patients in remission

An anti-cancer vaccine that teaches the body how to fight tumors has put three patients with lymphoma in remission.

The vaccine is injected directly into the tumor and teaches the immune system to destroy it, as well as to look for other cancer cells.

The researchers tested 11 patients with lymphoma and said that some were in complete remission for months or even years.

The trials have been so successful that experts believe that it offers hope for many other cancers, including those of the breast, head, and neck.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York tested the treatment - injected directly into the tumor to stimulate the immune system - in 11 patients

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York tested the treatment – injected directly into the tumor to stimulate the immune system – in 11 patients

Although the treatment is called a vaccine, it does not prevent cancer. Instead, it teaches the person's immune system how to fight the disease.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York have injected tumors into a stimulant that recruits immune cells called dendritic cells.

After treating the tumor with a low dose of radiotherapy, a second stimulant was injected, which activated the dendritic cells.

According to the study published in Nature Medicine, T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, had to kill cancer cells throughout the body, while leaving non-cancer cells unaffected.

This led to the remission of three of the patients while the treatment reduced both the initial target tumors and the others throughout their body.

People with lymphoma have abnormal lymphocytes – white blood cells that help fight the infection – that have separated.

Lymphocytes can accumulate in any part of the body, most commonly in the armpits, neck or groin.

Lead author, Dr. Joshua Brody, director of the Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program at the Tisch Institute Against Cancer, said: "The in-situ vaccine approach has vast implications for several types of cancer. "

In laboratory tests on mice, the vaccine has significantly increased the success of control point blocking immunotherapy.

This immunotherapy, which is currently being researched, works by blocking the immune system points of the body where cancer cells can hide and avoid being detected.

The results warranted further trials in March: a clinical trial for patients with lymphoma, breast cancer and head and neck cancer was opened to test the vaccine with drugs blocking the checkpoints.

According to the researchers, the combination was at least three times more potent than checkpoint blockage or the vaccine itself.

They are "extremely optimistic" about the effectiveness of this treatment in subsequent trials and have even described the tumor after treatment as a "cancer vaccine factory".

It is also laboratory tested in liver and ovarian cancer.

Dr. Eric Jacobsen, Clinical Director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Lymphoma Program, told CNBC that the results were interesting, but additional research was needed because it was important to understand the results. a small study.

Dr. Jacobsen, who did not participate in the study, said: "It's definitely a proof of concept, but more important studies are really needed and additional strategies to try to make so that more than three out of 11 patients answer ".

Other experts have praised the results of the study.

Dr. Silvia Formenti, chair of radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, who did not attend, said that "it was really promising."

She told CNBC: "And the fact that you get not only answers in the treated areas, but also off the field [of treatment with radiation] is really important.

Lymphoma cancer is a cancer of the lymphatic system that is part of the immune system. There are two main types – Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Each year, approximately 1,700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the United Kingdom and 8,110 in the United States. And every year, 13,500 Britons suffer from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, while approximately 74,200 Americans receive the same news.


Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes, network of fight against diseases of the body.

This network includes the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and thymus.

There are different types of lymphoma, but two main types: non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin.

Both have much better prognoses than many types of cancer.


Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in white blood cells. It bears the name of Thomas Hodgkin, an English doctor who had discovered the disease in 1832.

It affects approximately 1,950 people each year in the United Kingdom and 8,500 per year in the United States.

Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common between 20 to 24 years old and 75 to 79 years old.

Five-year survival rate:

Survival rates are much more favorable than most other cancers.

  • Step 1: 90%
  • Step 2: 90%
  • Step 3: 80%
  • Step 4: 65%

Symptoms include:

  • painless swelling in the armpits, neck and groin
  • intense night sweating
  • extreme weight loss
  • itching
  • breathlessness
  • cough

Risk factors:

  • reduced immunity
  • a family history of the condition
  • smokers
  • those who are overweight


  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • steroids
  • stem cell or bone marrow transplant


Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can occur anywhere in the body, but it is usually seen in the lymph nodes located around the victim's neck.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma affects about 13,700 new people each year in the United Kingdom. In the United States, more than 74,600 people are diagnosed each year.

It is more common in men than in women and is usually diagnosed in the early twenties or after the age of 55.

Five-year survival rate:

Survival can vary considerably with NHL.

The overall survival rate for five years is 70% and the chance to live 10 years is about 60%.

Symptoms include:

  • Painless swelling of the neck, armpits or groin
  • Intense night sweating
  • Unexplained weight loss of more than one-tenth of a person's body
  • itching

Risk factors:

  • more than 75
  • have a weak immune system
  • suffer from celiac disease
  • have a family history of the disease
  • have had other types of cancer


It depends on the number and location of the body affected by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Treatment usually includes chemotherapy.

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