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the_perennial_Sophia t1_isjonyc wrote

1st step is to start call it what it is: it gene therapy.


_Silvestris_ t1_isjowcw wrote

I would take it any day over chemotherapy or double mastectomy.


swordsaintzero t1_islc1rf wrote

One of the best examples of confidently incorrect I've ever seen.


tlighta t1_isjry7z wrote

Its not gene therapy.


mcscom t1_isjtpe8 wrote

What's wrong with gene therapy?


GWsublime t1_isjur1v wrote

Nothing, but this isn't that


grimtrigger86 t1_isjvap2 wrote

Is vaccine actually an accurate descriptor for it though? Cancer is abnormal cells dividing uncontrollably destroying tissue. Or are we changing the definition of vaccine again


GWsublime t1_isjvrr5 wrote

Yeah vaccine would be the right description. A vaccine for a certain kind of breast cancer would be training the immune system to recognize and respond to a surface protein unique to that cancer in the same way that a vaccine for, say, mumps trains the immune system to recognize and respond to a surface protein unique to paramyxoviruses.


Wiggie49 t1_isjx1m7 wrote

Do cancerous cells have identifying proteins that differ from the patient’s cells? Cancers aren’t exactly foreign bodies so wouldn’t they pretty much look the same outside of the fact that they are immortal cancerous cells?


GWsublime t1_isk9or9 wrote

They do, yes. The mutations that, allow the cells to divide also cause conformatuonal changes. Thats what cancer vaccines target (as do some existing therapies) when the article speaks of triple negative breast cancer it's referring to breast cancer where three surface proteins usually targeted by conventional therapies are absent.


mcscom t1_isjzcxd wrote

All cancer have some mutations that would make them different from normal tissue. The question is just how targetable those mutations are by the immune system


Wiggie49 t1_isk18k8 wrote

I thought that was all just visually different, like I thought on a microscopic level it looks the same to our immune system.


GWsublime t1_iska3b3 wrote

No, our immune system can and does fight cancer, usually very successfully. Unfortunately it can be too slow and when it is you get to a point where the immune system can't keep up or can't access the cancerous tissue


mcscom t1_iskm9g2 wrote

All cancers (so far) have some amount of DNA changes in them that make them different from the rest of the body. The number and type of DNA mutations varies greatly depending on the type of cancer. Whether and how much these changes are "detectable" by the immune system varies as well, but theoretically it should be possible to design vaccines or other immune therapies for any type of cancer.


Wiggie49 t1_ismq6u2 wrote

Yeah I was never that great at microbiology, good to kno tho


grimtrigger86 t1_isjwdib wrote

Is there a unique surface protein for breast cancer, as opposed to any other type of cancer? It seems odd that the immune system would be used to attack cell growth


GWsublime t1_isjx514 wrote

That's what they are working on in this article and they seem to have a target. Cancer isn't cell growth its uncontrolled cell growth cause by damage to the systems that regulate that. Specific types of damage could and probably do result in specific conformal changes. Also, the immune system often does recognize and kill cancerous cells without any external input so there is definitely something to target.


grimtrigger86 t1_isjxg8y wrote

Well yeah, I specified uncontrolled in the initial post. It's still cell growth, and referred to it as such for the sake of brevity because I already established that it's considered uncontrolled. That all being said. Any efficiency of communication went out the window with this explanatory post


GWsublime t1_isjxvns wrote

Right but there's a significant difference. No, you can't target cell growth, that kills the human. Yes you can target uncontrolled cell growth as long as that comes along with some sort of conformational change.


TheGoodFight2015 t1_iskomy3 wrote

Edit to clarify and include more about the immune system:

Look up T cells. They’re called cytotoxic for a reason: they kill cells that contain virus or other disease like cancer.

Our bodies also perform a technique called autophagy all the time. It literally means eating one-self, and it’s to clean up dead and defective cells, save resources, etc.


kolitics t1_isks43l wrote

Nothing unless you rebrand it as a vaccine to downplay the risks. As I understand this is not a gene therapy though, it is a vaccine to trigger immune response against proteins uniquely expressed on the surface of cancer cells. The risk would be the proteins are not as unique as you thought and you become autoimmune.


mcscom t1_islz77r wrote

What defines a vaccine? Not sure that definition is as clear as you may think.