Potential Role of Flu Shots in Treating Cancerous Tumors

In recent research, mouse models have been injected with flu shots to check their effectiveness in preventing or slowing down the rate of cancer progression or treating it. Currently, different Biotech companies have been working to discover novel and improved therapies with an ability to prevent or cure different forms of cancers.

Professionals working in the field of cancer are expecting increased support from iBio, Inc., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and SIGA Technologies, Inc. through innovations for better diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

An emerging company – Aethlon Medical, Inc., provides medical technology to deal with unaddressed needs regarding biodefense and the health of an individual. Aethlon Medical Inc. has made its contribution to the development of TauSome and Aethlon Hemopurifier.

The former has the potential to detect chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Whereas, the other one is an immunotherapeutic device, known for its role in tackling life-threatening viruses and treating people who have been diagnosed with advanced-stage or metastatic cancer.

How Flu Vaccines Can Be Helpful in Cancer Treatment

Several factors determine the response of tumors towards any therapy. Among these, an important factor is whether a tumor can be described as cold or hot. This factor is of major concern while referring to a new form of anticancer treatment that has got recognition as immunotherapy.

The tumors containing immune cells are known as “hot” tumors. On the other hand, the ones that may contain immunosuppressant cells but don’t have any immune cells can be termed as “cold” tumors. This new anti-cancer therapy (Hemopurifier therapy) has been found to have greater efficiency against “hot” tumors.

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But the researchers at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago has thought of a way to make this therapy effective even against cold tumors. They said that using flu vaccines (inactivated flu viruses) can transform cold tumors into hot tumors, thus increasing the effectiveness of the therapy.

In this research, the flu vaccine was inoculated into the mice model’s melanoma tumors. The findings revealed that using inactivated flu viruses led to an increase in the tumor’s dendritic cell concentration, thus converting the cold tumors into hot ones.

Dendritic cells have the potential to incite an immune response, increasing the number of CD8+ T cells that identify and damage cancer cells. This mechanism led to a decrease in the tumor growth rate or its size in the mice models.

In an effort to explore other new methods for treating cancer, the researchers have combined different therapies with novel devices like Aethlon’s Hemopurifier to enhance their effectiveness.

Flu Shots Also Enhance the Effectiveness of Currently Available Therapies

Researchers were interested in knowing that besides using flu vaccines alone in treatment, whether it can be used as adjuvant therapy or can enhance the efficiency of currently available therapies.

For confirmation, the flu vaccine was given along with a type of immunotherapy that involves drugs that are capable of stimulating immune cells to attack tumors. From their work, researchers found that flu shots have the potential to decrease the growth of the tumor, whether used alone or in combination.