In previous studies dating a couple of years back, researchers were investigating the use of viruses to target cancer. The concept of using viruses was to cause cell explosion among the infected cells to spread to new ones. In theory, modifying those viruses to only grow in cancer cells could potentially create a selective way to kill these cells. Early results showed that numerous tumours were nearly disappearing.
However, due to complications that followed the use of this approach as well as inconsistent results, further studies in this area were ruled out. This is because the human immune system reacted to the virus resulting in the restriction of our ability to use it more than a single time. Consequently, the immune system seemed to be the one killing the tumour but not the virus.
For this reason, a team of scientists has shifted their focus on the immune response applying it directly at the site of the tumour. This technique uses an outstanding simple procedure which involves the injection of the flu vaccine into the tumour. The mice used in this experiment were successfully immunized to gain a better understanding of the biology of the immune response concerning tumour treatment.
The idea behind this technique was conceived a long time ago, and its implementation was due in a matter of time. For someone to comprehend this concept, one ought to be open to see beyond the conventional ideas that the immune system is at all times diffuse, formed of cells that roam the bloodstream. But rather immune cells are as well capable of constituting at the specific locations of the tumours, where they communicate with each other to both triggers an attack and control that attack not to affect healthy tissues.
The immune system is designed not to attack normal cells by default, which makes it difficult for it to eliminate tumour cells because they are similar to healthy cells and hard to differentiate. This self-imposed limitation can be overcome by applying artificial drugs that remove this restriction. These drugs function by converting “cold” immune responses that self-shut into “hot” ones that are capable of attacking a tumour.
Human beings have diverse immune systems, and thus, everyone reacts differently to the effect of these drugs. This forms a challenge and raises the question of whether there exists an alternative to trigger the immune system to attack a tumour at the source. The team of scientists unanimously agreed that the immune system could be a potentially powerful tool against cancer if perfectly modified.