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Apr 26, 2017 01:08 AM EDT

A newly developed nanoparticle vaccine immunotherapy, a first of its kind, can now target various cancer types. The new medication is developed by researchers from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. This vaccine can stimulate the immune system to build up a strong immune response to help the body fight cancer.

The nanovaccine has tumor antigens that are in a synthetic polymer nanoparticle, Science Daily reported. Tumor antigens are tumor proteins that the immune system can spot. This will help the body create the protection it needs against cancer.

UT Southwestern's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology Dr. Jinming Gao said this vaccine is very unique. The simple, single-polymer composition can provide tumor antigens precisely to immune cells and stimulate innate immunity at the same time. This proves it can bring safe and efficient production of specific T cells that can defeat cancer cells, said Gao.

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The study published in "Nature Nanotechnology" reported how nanovaccine can effectively target multiple types of tumor in mice. The typical vaccines need immune cells to detect tumor antigens in a "depot system" and go to the lymphoid organs to activate the T cells. But with the nanoparticle vaccines can travel straight to the lymph nodes of the body to stimulate tumor-specific immune responses.

This experiment works by activating STING, which is an adaptor protein that can stimulate the immune defense system of the body to protect it from cancer. The scientists noticed tumor growth in mice slowed down. This includes tumors like melanoma, HPV-related cancer, colorectal cancer, and more.

It seems like this is not the only way nanoparticle vaccines can help the body. It can also help prevent other health conditions besides cancer. In a different note, MIT researchers have also developed nanoparticle vaccine that can fight Zika virus through a new strategy that can generate customized RNA quickly, Relia Wire reported.

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