What if a simple vaccine against gastroenteritis could help cure cancer? Researchers have shown in a study that the use of one of these commercial vaccines helps to lift resistance to immunotherapy. So far, this highly effective therapeutic treatment works only in 10 to 25% of patients.
"Our results show that Rotaviruses contained in vaccines against gastroenteritis can make sensitive to the immunotherapy of tumors that would be naturally resistant," said Christophe Caux, one of the leaders of this study.
Tumors that disappear
These researchers at the Cancer Research Center of Lyon and Center Léon Bérard tested in vitro 14 different vaccines available commercially. Among them, they identified those against rotavirus, responsible for gastroenteritis.
Their study, published in Science Translational Medicine, stresses that not only can these vaccines cause the death of cancer cells in vitro, but also that the combination of these vaccines and immunotherapy results in a potent anti-tumor immune response in vivo, where immunotherapy alone was not effective.
These researchers found that by injecting the vaccine directly into the tumors, some regressed until they disappeared. And combined with immunotherapies, all the tumors disappeared.
The results should pave the way for pre-clinical and clinical trials, according to the scientists behind this study.