From Univeristy of Pennsylvania: ‘A team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has shown that by using a cancer vaccine based on the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, they can cure mice with established breast tumors. Cancer vaccines, which are more properly described as immunotherapy, work by boosting an immune response against tumor-associated antigens. Using Listeria, the researchers, led by Yvonne Paterson, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, delivered the tumor-associated antigen HER-2/Neu to immune cells. HER-2/Neu is overexpressed in 20 to 40 percent of all breast cancers and also present in many cancers of the ovaries, lung, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract. These cells eventually enlist killer T cells to seek out and destroy the tumor cells that display the HER-2/Neu molecule.’
This is quite a promising discovery, but my skeptical intellect tells me that this will not be a final solution for the problem of neosplasm. This dynamic dissipative structure will evolve into something that will manage the increased activity of T-cells and maybe even use them to improve its metastatic abilities. There should be methods to protect the organism against formation of neoplastic cells, before they spread over its body and develop immune tolerance. Nanotechnology could deliver such methods – e.g. nanobots that cruise in body fluids and scan cells for particular antigens/markers etc. and destroy suspicious cells using nano-devices.
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