Scientists at Michigan State University are designing a virus-like particle called Qβ, which will generate an anti-cancer immune response in the body and may be used as a new vaccine for cancer treatment. The US $ 2.4 million project funded by the National Cancer Institute will support the development of vaccines to protect animals from cancer cells that are currently incurable, and may well be a vaccine for spontaneous cancer in humans.
The team will combine Qβ particles with tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs), and they believe these antigens will produce complete anti-tumor cell immunity, reduce tumor growth and prevent tumor development. In addition, the researchers will use the crystal structure of Qβ to develop mutations that reduce toxic antibodies and promote the desired cells, which can also kill cancer cells. This is the first such trial using a TACA vaccine model.
This vaccine will be used first to treat canine cancer and will focus on osteosarcoma, which is a refractory dog and human bone tumor.
Vaccines can reduce tumor growth and protect patients from tumor progression and further progress. If we can further understand the relationship between the structural characteristics of Qβ-TACA and anti-tumor immunity, it can have a great effect on the design of cancer vaccines. This research also strengthens the important role of veterinary medicine in cancer research.
Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan said: “Spontaneous cancer in dogs and cats provides a real test for cancer vaccines. This is just one example of the many ways in which veterinary and human medical research can benefit each other.”