The tumor builds around itself a "wall" of immunosuppressive cells or physical and chemical factors that seal off or weaken immune cells. Researchers managed to “hack” and reprogram the tumor microenvironment (TME) using a special “Trojan Horse”. A gene making IFNα was inserted in a cell population within the tumor, imposing an immunostimulatory program to the TME.
Isn’t it ironic that members of the camelid family (camels, llamas, dromedaries) or sharks that are so bigger than we are, present antibodies that are smaller than ours? Just as curious is that these “miniature antibodies” first detected in 1993 are very interesting for a number of biotechnological applications and scientists think that they could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases.
We are used to considering viruses as enemies, tending to forget the multitude of their other applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. For one thing, did you know that viruses could be weapons against cancer cells? In fact, that is precisely what oncolytic viruses are used for. Moreover, a review recently published on Nature Immunology explores their possible combination with other anti-neoplastic agents and especially with cancer immunotherapy. Viruses and immune system: two sworn enemies that somehow work “together” against tumour cells.