Melanoma, which is the most lethal form of skin cancer, has a cure finally, or so a cross-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians announced. They have begun a Phase I clinical trial of an implantable vaccine that would be helpful in treating melanoma.
A new model of transitional research that was being pursued at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University integrates the latest cancer research with bioinspired technology development. This was led by Wyss Core Faculty member David J. Mooney, Ph.D., who is also the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Wyss Institute Associate Faculty member Glenn Dranoff, M.D., who is co-leader of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Cancer Vaccine Center.
Most of the cancer vaccines that are available currently do require doctors to first remove the patient’s immune cells from the body and then reprogram them, finally reintroducing them back into the body. This new approach that we are talking of here had eliminated tumors in mice instead uses a small disk like sponge which is about the size of a fingernail that is made from FDA approved polymers. This sponge is actually implanted under the skin and is so designed to recruit and reprogram a patient’s own immune cells. Thus instructing them to travel through the body and reach the cancer cells to kill them.
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