Prostate cancer 'wiped out' by immune system therapy
A new therapy that involves freeing up and boosting the immune system can wipe out advanced prostate cancer, early research has shown.
In mice, human disease tumours were "almost completely destroyed" by the animals' own immune systems, scientists said.
The treatment, dubbed "chemoimmunotherapy", involved low doses of the drug oxaliplatin which has a unique ability to activate cancer-killing immune cells.
Equally important to the treatment was removing or blocking immune system cells that put a brake on the body's defences.
The immunosuppressive "B-cells" are especially abundant in the tumours of men with advanced and spreading prostate cancer.
Under normal circumstances, the cells keep the immune system at bay, rendering conventional therapies ineffective and allowing tumours to grow unchecked. Each year in the UK around 41,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from it.