From: University of Calgary
Published August 29, 2017 02:59 PM

Researchers discover new immunotherapy combination effective at killing cancer cells

Immunotherapy is an emerging field in the global fight against cancer, even though scientists and clinicians have been working for decades to find ways to help the body’s immune system detect and attack cancerous cells. Doug Mahoney’s lab at the University of Calgary recently discovered an immunotherapy that uses existing cancer drugs in a whole new way.

“What we found is a combination of cancer therapies that complement each other in helping the immune system clear the cancer,” says Mahoney, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Cumming School of Medicine and member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer and Alberta Children’s Hospital ResearchInstitutes. “Our results suggest that we’ve been looking at these cancer drugs the wrong way — as tumour-targeting drugs — instead of what we now feel is their most important biological role: as immune stimulating therapy.”

Learning how to ramp up the immune system

Cancer cells are smart; they know how to hide from the body’s own immune system. Cancer cells also know how to control certain immune cells. Like a cruel form of mind control, some cancerous tumours can reprogram some immune cells to “block” other immune cells from attacking, leaving the tumour free to grow.

Continue reading at University of Calgary

Photo provided by Doug Mahoney’s Lab

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