Cancer vaccine may avoid immunotherapy downsides

Thinking like engineers rather than doctors, Jeffery Hubbell and Melody Swartz are bringing new approaches to the field of immunotherapy—and helping rethink cancer research.

Swartz has even developed what she calls a cancer “vaccine”—a way to train the immune system to recognize cancer cells as bad. By tinkering with the different parts inside our bodies, Swartz’s and Hubbell’s labs are searching for ways to utilize immunotherapy while eliminating its downsides.

“We’re trying to not hit it so much with a sledgehammer, but try to fine-tune and understand what helps drive a broader and long-lasting immune response,” says Swartz. “That’s what our vaccine is more focused on as opposed to other approaches.”

In this podcast episode, you can listen to Hubbell and Swartz, both of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, explain how, if their biggest ideas pass clinical trials, we could enter a new era of fighting not only cancer, but a host of other diseases:

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You can also find the transcript for this episode here.

Source: University of Chicago