pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) which can be converted into several different
types of cell types were used to treat and prevent cancer in mice. The study
conducted by a research team at Stanford University School of Medicine uses
iPSCs to train the immune system to attack the tumor.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) were used to
train the immune system to attack cancer cells, making them apt
- Non-replicating iPSCs that genetically match the
recipient when injected into the patient expose the patient's immune
system to a variety of cancer-specific targets.
- This exposure puts the immune system on alert to target
cancers as they develop throughout the body.
The study also suggests that it may be possible to
use an individual's iPSCs to develop an anti-cancer vaccine that could protect
the body against the development of several cancers. The study is published in
the journal Cell Stem Cell.
iPSCs, like many cancer cells, resemble developmentally immature progenitor cells,
which do not have any growth restrictions and mature to become different types
When the gene expression
panels of the two cell types
were compared, it was found that the cells share proteins on their surfaces
that could serve as targets for the immune system.
"We've learned that iPS cells are very similar on their surface to
tumor cells," said Joseph Wu, MD, Ph.D.,
director of Stanford's Cardiovascular Institute and professor of cardiovascular
medicine and radiology. "When we immunized an animal with genetically
matching iPS cells, the immune system could be primed to reject the development
of tumors in the future. Pending replication in humans, our findings indicate
these cells may one day serve as a true patient-specific cancer vaccine."
iPSCs were made using cell samples from easily
available skin and blood cells. The cells derived from the body were treated in
the lab to rewind their developmental clock to make them pluripotent, which is
the ability to differentiate into nearly any type of cell. The pluripotency was
tested by checking for the development of a tumor called teratoma in mice.
‘Converting a person’s blood or skin cells into pluripotent stem cells and then injecting them into the person could prevent the formation of several types of cancer.’
To test the ability of iPSCs to trigger an immune
response and its efficacy as an anti-cancer vaccine, mice experiments were conducted.
Four groups of mice were considered. One group received a control solution, a
second group received irradiated genetically matching iPS cells to prevent the
formation of teratomas, and the third group received an immune-stimulating
agent known as an adjuvant. The fourth group received a combination of
irradiated iPS cells and adjuvant. The injections were given once a week for
four weeks. Later, a mouse breast cancer
cell line was transplanted into all the
mice for the growth of a tumor.
All mice developed breast cancer, one week after transplantation.
The tumor grew rapidly in the control group. In the group that received the
irradiated iPSCs and adjuvant combination, the size of the tumor shrank in 7
out of 10 vaccinated mice.
Two of the seven mice completely rejected the
tumor and lived for more than one year after tumor transplantation.
This approach is relatively simple in theory and means that taking your
blood cells, converting them into blood cells and then injecting these cells
into your body could protect you from future cancers.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells could serve as cancer vaccine - (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180215125026.htm)