Lymph Node Implants to Fight Cancer

Melanoma vaccines complemented by lymph node implant research

(RxWiki News) Lymph nodes, the police stations of the human body, are where T cells go to rest, pick up information on recent developments, and get ready to head back out on patrol.

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center are designing a manufactured lymph node to boost the T cells recognition of cancer.

This builds on previous research the Moffitt Center has performed on cancer vaccines, which have a similar goal of increasing the natural immune response to cancer cells.

"Ask your oncologist about clinical trials available to you."

The artificial lymph node implants would specialize in enhancing the immune response to the melanoma cancer vaccines, one of the most successful treatments currently available for metastatic melanoma.

Researchers believe that the cancer vaccine together with the engineered cells in the artificial lymph nodes, will drastically accelerate the natural recognition and destruction of cancer cells by the body.

“Patients with cancer have a dysfunctional immune system either because of the tumor’s presence in the body or as a side effect of drugs or radiation used to treat the tumor,” explained James Mulé, PhD and the study author.

“The designer lymph nodes, aimed at rebuilding their immune systems, may overcome this dysfunction.”

Mulé has also published prior research on the intricate relationship between the immune system, the lymph nodes and cancer in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Adelson Medical Research and V Foundation.

Review Date: 
May 3, 2012