Conversing on Cancer-Resistant Mice

News of a form of immune therapy to transfer cancer resistance between mice has spawned a good conversation, presently taking place over in the Immortality Institute forums:

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0602382103v1

I first read about the cancer resistant mouse in 2003 and I am very surprised that it has taken this research team 3 years to merely establish a simple fact (that a transplant of a component of its immune cells will mediate complete cancer recovery in a non mutant-mouse). The mutant mice should be distributed in research centres all around the world and millions of dollars of government funding be available to rapidly investigate the mechanism by which this effect is mediated and how it can be reproduced in humans. Since the mechanism remains to be discovered, pharma companies can also participate.

These mice are the most valuable experimental animals in the world.

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To dampen your optimism a little bit, bear in mind that there are considerable differences between mouse and human tumors. The most important ones of them derive from the fact that human tumors have more time and more cells, so they have greater potential to evolve against any type of treatment.

For example, a major histological difference between tumors in resistant mice and normal mice is that in resistant mice tumors were fraught with immune cells that killed them, while in normal mice there were litte immune cells in the tumor. Now in humans, it's actually normal to have tumors fraught with immune cells, but they are doing nothing, because the tumor has figured out some way to defuse them with various signaling molecules.

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Still, I think immune therapy is the most promising anti-cancer approach we have.

You'll find more links and commentary by reading the whole thread. Modern medical researchers are bringing in more data than the research infrastructure can process these days - hence promising advances or discoveries like this, or regenerating MRL mice, take a while to rise to general notice on their merits. You can be sure there are, a present, a hundred other equally important discoveries already made and languishing for the right attention, the right connections to other research.

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Comments

I have emailed Dr Cui about his research. He mentions lack of funds for his research. This is disturbing because this could delay progress on this research.
This research is groundbreaking because if you can simply take white blood cells with this mechanism and apply them to humans to get complete eradication of most cancers and lifetime immunity, then you have found a simple and safe cancer cure. This will eliminate chemo in most cases. This would be the Holy Grail of cancer treatment.
I hope they can make quick progress on this and develop a vaccine or gene therapy. Perhaps a vaccine can be made from the mice white blood cells. Nick

Posted by: Nick Padron at June 1st, 2006 11:32 AM

i agree with nick plus i'm will to be a human clinicial trial with no strings attach i have cancer with nothing to lose i will release all liable to whon every it concerns

Posted by: yuba at December 26th, 2007 2:53 PM

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