New Stem Cell Vaccine Protects Against Several Cancers in Mouse Models

New Stem Cell Vaccine Protects Against Several Cancers in Mouse Models
A specialized vaccine made from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can slow tumor growth in mouse models of breast, lung, and skin cancers, research from Stanford University shows. This vaccine also may prevent recurrence of the disease. "What surprised us most was the effectiveness of the iPSC vaccine in re-activating the immune system to target cancer," lead author Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, said in a press release. Wu is with Stanford's Cardiovascular Institute and Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. For almost a century, scientists have known that tumors can be cleared from the body after immunization with embryonic materials containing embryonic stem cells. Unlike traditional vaccinations where single antigens (proteins that drive immune responses) are presented to the immune system to induce an immune response, whole-cell vaccination from embryonic stem cells can present a wider range of antigens. Some of these antigens are known, but many of them are not. The presentation of a broad variety of antigens allows the immune system to simultaneously target multiple antigens and may lead to a more pronounced and prolonged immune response. Using embryonic stem cells is restricted for ethical reasons. However, researchers have figured out how to generate stem cells from adult cells. These are called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Because the iPSCs are generated from one's own cells, the tumorigenic and immunogenic properties of these iPSCs can better reflect the host's own tumor. In this study, "Autologous iPSC-Based Vaccines Elicit
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