Bringing the Fall in also means welcoming cold and flu season back, and our immune systems will be working overtime to keep up safe! Thankfully, our natural immunity is extraordinary in its capacity to detect and eradicate invading infections. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could do the same with cancer?
As a matter of fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had the same idea. Researchers tested if masking cancer as a viral infection would cause the immune system to kick into gear, and the results were incredible. Injecting small bits of peptides (viral proteins) into tumors in mice stimulated immune cells, reduced tumors, and even prevented them from growing back.
The viral peptides used were from CMV (cytomegalovirus), a standard virus which is recognized by most people’s immune systems and typically doesn’t cause any symptoms. When someone contracts CMV, it sticks with them forever. And, as John Schiller, Ph.D. of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research said, “It’s one of the few immune responses that gets better as you get older.”
This type of immunotherapy 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 injected with new lung cancer cells after being cured, no new tumors developed. Similar outcomes were attained with different types of cancer as well.
Outside of proving to be very effective in the study, additional benefits that may be gained through CMV immunotherapy include:
- Treatment does not need to be customized for every single person or form of cancer.
- Synthetic virus peptides could be produced simply and in large volumes.
- It will likely be less costly and much less time-consuming to create than many 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 eagerly wait to hear the outcomes of upcoming clinical trials, JFS Care is here to help someone you know through cancer treatment and beyond with customized in-home care services in Santa Monica and the nearby areas, such as:
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to doctor appointments, treatments, and procedures
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- Helping with household chores and laundry
- Preparing meals that are in line with any prescribed dietary plans, keeping in mind any potential changes in taste, smell, and appetite
- Serving as a friendly companion to brighten every day
If you need in-home care services in Santa Monica or the nearby areas, contact us online or at 213-383-2273 for a free consultation to learn more about our services and the peace of mind you will attain from knowing you have a skilled partner in care by your side. See our full service area.