Treating Cancer Like a Virus: The Stunning Outcome

Treating Cancer Like a Virus: The Stunning Outcome

Fall is the kickoff to cold and flu season, which is also the time our immune systems get a workout. Thankfully, our natural immunity is amazing in its ability to detect and eradicate invading infections. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if treating cancer worked this way too?

Actually, the https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2022/cancer-immunotherapy-cmv-peptideshttps://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2022/cancer-immunotherapy-cmv-peptideshad the same thought. Researchers decided to test whether disguising cancer as a viral infection would prompt the immune system to kick into gear, and the results were spectacular. By injecting small bits of peptides (viral proteins) into tumors in mice, the immune cells were activated, shrank the tumors, and even prevented them from growing back.

The viral peptides used were from CMV (cytomegalovirus), a common virus that is recognized by most people’s immune systems and typically doesn’t cause any symptoms. Once someone is infected with CMV, it stays with them for a lifetime. And, as John Schiller, Ph.D. of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research explains, “It’s one of the few immune responses that gets better as you get older.”

Immunotherapy such as this also offers the potential for long-term protection, and initial research is showing this to be the case with CMV peptide treatment. And even when mice were injected with new lung cancer cells after being cured, no new tumors developed. Similar results were achieved with different types of cancer as well.

Besides showing to be highly effective in the study, additional advantages that may be gained through CMV immunotherapy include:

  • Synthetic virus peptides can be produced simply and in large quantities
  • Treatment does not need to be customized for each person or type of cancer
  • It will be less expensive and less time-consuming to produce than other immunotherapy treatments

Dr. Schiller adds that this is a “simple, off-the-shelf product that you could even use in low-resource settings because it doesn’t require sophisticated molecular profiling of tumors.”

As we excitedly await the results of upcoming clinical trials, Amy’s Helping Hands is here to help someone you know through cancer treatment and beyond with personalized home care services, such as:

  • Preparing meals in conjunction with any prescribed dietary plans and taking into consideration changes in taste, smell, and appetite
  • Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, treatments, and procedures
  • Assisting with household chores and laundry
  • Serving as a friendly companion to brighten each day
  • Skilled nursing care
  • And much more

Contact Amy’s Helping Hands at 519-915-4370 for a consultation to learn more about our expert caregiving in Windsor, Ontario and the surrounding areas, and the peace of mind you will gain from knowing you have a skilled partner in care by your side.