Breakthrough Study Could Hold The Keys To Curing Breast Cancer

Through the years, scientists have made some absolutely amazing progress in the battle against a number of dreaded diseases. Things that were once thought to be incurable are treatable as a result, and that’s a good part of the reason why life expectancies are surging in comparison to decades ago.

However, there is one dreaded disease that continues to confound the medical community. There remains no known cure for cancer, but some encouraging signs have emerged from a breakthrough study that just may hold the keys to curing a form of cancer that has been on the rise.

As the Daily Mail shares, a group of Ottawa University scientists have completed a trial study that used a combination of immunotherapy and a virus to treat triple negative breast cancer, which is deemed the deadliest form of the diagnosis. The pairing of the two resulted in some startling results, as up to 90 percent of mice that were plagued by the disease during the trial run have now been completely cured.

Dr Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault is the lead author of the Canadian study, and she’s intrigued by what the results may mean for the treatment of humans.

“It was absolutely amazing to see that we could cure cancer in most of our mice, even in models that are normally very resistant to immunotherapy,” she said. “We believe that the same mechanisms are at work in human cancers, but further research is needed to test this kind of therapy in humans.”

The study has been published in Science Translational Medicine, and there’s a good chance that it will lead to some increased interest in the benefits of immunotherapy. During the study, the scientists would note that the mice were resistant to a checkpoint inhibitor that is extensively used in the treatment of a number of cancers.

However, they would find that an oncolytic virus called Maraba actually seemed to boost the immune systems of the mice in question, but that didn’t do all that much for them on the longevity front.

When the scientists combined the two, they were mesmerized by the results. MIce that were treated with both were cured between 60 and 90 percent of the time, while mice that were treated with only one of the option were cured between just zero and 30 percent of the time.

Dr John Bell, the study’s co-author, provides some additional insight into what the Canadian scientists were able to discover in the trial run.

“Our immune system is constantly trying to recognize and kill cancer cells, but the cancer cells are always trying to hide from it. When you infect a cancer cell with a virus, it raises a big red flag, which helps the immune system recognize and attack the cancer,” Bell said.

“But in some kinds of cancer this still isn't enough. We found that when you add a checkpoint inhibitor after the virus, this releases all the alarms and the immune system sends in the full army against the cancer.”

While the results of the study are certainly impressive, it’s unclear exactly how long it would actually take for this to be a viable treatment option. There is a notoriously arduous process in between the trial stage and drugs actually making it to market.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that things get accelerated for something that shows such extreme promise.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: MailOnline, YouTube

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