25
Oct

Fighting cancer with the power of immunity

New treatment elicits two-pronged immune response that destroys tumors in mice.

Harnessing the body’s own immune system to destroy tumors is a tantalizing prospect that has yet to realize its full potential. However, shop a new advance from MIT may bring this strategy, known as cancer immunotherapy, closer to becoming reality.

In the new study, the researchers used a combination of four different therapies to activate both of the immune system’s two branches, producing a coordinated attack that led to the complete disappearance of large, aggressive tumors in mice.

“We have shown that with the right combination of signals, the endogenous immune system can routinely overcome large immunosuppressive tumors, which was an unanswered question,” says Darrell Irvine, a professor of biological engineering and of materials science and engineering, and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

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