Cancer is one of the most dreaded conditions of them all. It is even worse to have recurrent cancer. However, the specialists are making important steps towards taking care of the problem. According to the latest researches, if the patients receive the drug called decitabine prior to cancer vaccine and chemotherapy, they have higher chances of fighting the condition.
The therapy composed to these elements is known as chemoimmunotherapy and it would offer the patients a new option. The researchers focused on a tumor antigen, known as NY-ESO-1. This is important because in order for the patients’ immune system to attack the tumor, there is need for high foreign protein levels in the body.
These proteins are known as tumor antigens. They represent a good target for the anticancer vaccine. The specialists chose this antigen because it isn’t expressive in most forms of cancer, but it is highly expressed in ovarian cancer and other kinds of solid tumors.
Although this seems as a good starting point, the truth is that the protein doesn’t act in the same manner in all cases of cancer. This is why it has been the goal of the researchers to force its expression so that the system’s immune cells would recognize it and attack it.
The specialists worked with 12 women. They were able to assess the development of the cancer in 10 of these women. While in 5 cases there were no major changes, in one case the tumor started shrinking. We also have to add that the specialists noticed clinical changes in all cases.
In this case the clinical benefits weren’t the main purpose. Still, in 60% of the cases these have become obvious after a relatively short period of time. The results were most probably achievable because of the combination of chemotherapy, demethylating agent, and cancer vaccine.
One of the most important advantages of chemoimmunotherapy is that it seems to have sped up the spreading of the antiagents. The researchers have found that they achieved responses against three other antiagents as well, even though this was not their intention.
No matter how dark a situation may seem at first, you should know that there is always some hope. As you can see, specialists are working continuously on developing treatments and therapies even for the worst conditions, like cancer, and apparently they have a lot of success.