- A new skin cancer vaccine has been proven to be 100% effective in treating melanoma.
- Scientists discovered that the combined treatment of the cancer immunotherapy drug anti-PD-L1 and an injection of the chemical Diprovocim helped rid mice of aggressive melanoma.
- It was found that the treatment not only helped get rid of the cancer, but also prevented future relapses.
A new skin cancer vaccine that is 100 percent effective has proven to be a huge breakthrough in the fight against the disease.
Scientists used a chemically boosted immunotherapy drug to treat mice with aggressive melanoma, a malignant tumor associated with skin cancer. The results showed that the treatment not only beat the cancer, but also prevented future relapses.
The study, which was initiated by a group of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute in California and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, screened 100,000 compounds which could potentially act as a booster for the cancer immunotherapy drug, anti-PD-L1.
Since the drug was designed as a sort of tranquillizer, it rendered cancerous cells to be unable to evade the body’s immune system. The scientists eventually discovered the chemical Diprovocim, a compound that binds to proteins to help boost the immune system.
Groups of mice with aggressive melanomas were then given different treatments – some were given both the drug anti-PD-L1 and an injection of Diprovocim, while the rest were only given the former.
After 54 days, the group that was treated with just the drug had a zero percent survival rate. Meanwhile, those given both anti-PD-L1 and Diprovocim all survived.
Dale Boger, a study participant from the Scripps Research Institute, stated: “This co-therapy produced a complete response — a curative response — in the treatment of melanoma. Just as a vaccine can train the body to fight off external pathogens, this vaccine trains the immune system to go after the tumor. It was exciting to see the vaccine working simultaneously with a cancer immunotherapy like anti-PD-L1.”
What’s even better is that when the scientists tried to reinstate the melanoma in the mice, Mr. Boger said that “it would not take”, which meant that the mice were “already vaccinated against it.”
Scripps issued a statement saying, “Going forward, the researchers plan to do further pre-clinical testing with this vaccine design and study how it works in combination with other cancer therapies.”