News / Health

Nasal Spray Cancer Vaccine Shrinks Head and Neck Tumors

TEXT SIZE - +
Jessica Berman
A promising new vaccine - administered as a nasal spray - is being developed to treat head and neck cancers.  It is one of a growing number of vaccines developed in the last few years to fight cancer.

When a person develops cancer, the body mounts an immune response against the renegade cells but it is often too weak to halt their spread.  So, to supplement radiation and chemotherapy treatment, scientists have been working to develop vaccines to boost the body’s natural defenses against the tumors.  Two promising vaccines in late-stage human trials target prostate cancer and metastatic melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Another vaccine in the pipeline is designed to treat solid tumors that form in the mucosal tissues that line passages in the head, neck, lungs and genitals.  The tissues produce a thick lubricating fluid containing powerful chemicals that normally protect against infection.  Unfortunately, they also also block the immune cells that would otherwise fight the cancerous tumors.  Now researchers have developed a nasal spray vaccine which overcomes this resistance, activating and mobilizing a specific type of immune cell, called a CD8+ T-cell, in the tissue at the tumor site.

Eric Tartour, a researcher with the Universite Paris Descarte, led a team studying the effectiveness of the intranasal spray on solid mucosal tumors in mice.

He says the tumors developed after the mice were infected with a strain of human papilloma virus that’s known to cause cancer.

“The tumor shrank," said Tartour. "And we also analyzed the tumors after they shrank.  And they were heavily infiltrated by immune cells which destroyed the tumors.”

Tartour and colleagues also compared the effectiveness of their vaccine when it was injected, and found it was less potent than when given by nasal spray.

“What we demonstrated in this study is that it is important the way that you administer a vaccine," he said. "It is not only [important] to have a good cancer vaccine.   It is also important to have a proper way to administer it.”

Tartour says the researchers' next goal is to see how well their intranasal vaccine, which has been five years in development, works against tumors that have metastasized or spread to distant sites in the body.

Eric Tartour and colleagues describe their anti-cancer nasal spray in an article in the journal Science Translational Medicine.  

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid