A new cancer vaccine has shown a 100 percent success rate when treating aggressive melanoma in mice.
Researchers at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and the University of Texas in Dallas, gave mice suffering from melanoma a cancer immunotherapy drug called anti-PD-L1, which prevents tumor cells from attacking their immune systems.
The study found that rodents who were also given Diprovocim, a chemical compound that’s meant to galvanize the immune system, had a 100 percent survival rate.
And attempts to re-introduce cancer tumors in these vaccinated mice failed.
While more research needs to be done to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness in humans, researchers are hopeful about their findings.
“Just as a vaccine can train the body to fight off external pathogens, this vaccine trains the immune system to go after the tumor,” Dale Boger, a chemist at Scripps, wrote in a press release. “This co-therapy produced a complete response — a curative response — in the treatment of melanoma.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 9,000 people die of melanoma every year, and it accounts for about 1 percent of skin cancer diagnoses in the US.