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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tobacco-based vaccine to treat cancer

Tue, 22 Jul 2008 21:49:46

American scientists have suggested that a new tobacco-based cancer vaccine can help treat deadly malignancies in the near future.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the drug improves the body's immune response, assisting it in fighting tumor cells.

Findings suggest that the drug has shown promising results in treating patients suffering from follicular B-cell lymphoma, a chronic and incurable disease, without any significant side effects.

In the new method, tumor-target genes were cloned from each patient and injected into a virus which naturally attacks tobacco plants. Thereafter, the tobacco plant becomes a 'protein production factor' for producing an antibody chemical.

The study shows that as tumoral cells have specific target genes, each plant can be used to make a personalized vaccine for different patients.

Stanford University Medical Center researchers believe that the vaccine is unsuitable for preventative purposes.

They said that compared to the animal-derived vaccines, the plant-based drug is more effective in improving immune responses and can also be produced quicker and cheaper without the common infection risks associated with animal cells.


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