Bioengineers at Vanderbilt University have broken into penetrating cells inside tumors and activate a switch that tells them to start a fight, as published in Nature Nanotechnology.
Scientist recently won a Nobel Prize for work deploying the ability of the immune system to eliminate tumor cells, making great strides in the fight against cancer immunotherapy. This approach prevents cancer cells from closing the T-cells of the immune system before they can fight the tumors and is just one way to use body defenses. The Vanderbilt team has built this breakthrough to come out with another by projecting a particle of nanoparticle that is able to penetrate the tumor infiltrating immune cells and activate them to start a struggle.
Tumors have evolved many ways to avoid detection by the immune system, our goal is to rearm the immune system with the tools needed to destroy cancer cells by developing nanoparticles to detect tumors and delivering specific molecules produced by the body to fight with cancer, says John T. Wilson.
CGAMP molecules are used as a major way for nanoparticles to incorporate the stimulator into the pathway of interferon genes, which is a natural mechanism used by the body to mount immune responses against viruses, bacteria, or clearing malignant cells. The nanoparticle delivers cGAMP in a way that accelerates the onset of immune reactions in tumors, leading to the generation of killer T cells that can destroy tumors from the inside and improve responses to blockade of control points.
The team focuses on melanoma, and their findings show that this method can affect the treatment of many other forms of cancer such as head, neck, breast, lung, kidney, colorectal, and neuroblastoma.
The process begins with an attempt to develop nanoparticles using intelligent polymers that respond to changes in pH that are designed to increase the efficacy of cGAMP; after 20+ repeats, an ability to deliver cGAMP was detected to effectively activate STING in mouse immune cells, then in murine tumors and possibly in human tissue samples. According to Dr. Daniel She, this work is really encouraging because it has proven that this technology can be a success for patients.