Researchers developed molecules that activates immune system to fight cancer

Potent activation of the immune response, which led to the elimination of bladder cancer cells.

Molecules that could activate the immune system
Molecules that could activate the immune system. Image: Cardiff University

The activation of the immune system to attack and eliminate cancer cells and tumors is proving to be an effective strategy for treating cancer. Based on a naturally occurring molecule in bacteria, which is known to activate the immune response in humans, Cardiff scientists have developed molecules that could activate the immune system to eradicate cancer cells.

Scientists have discovered a series of compounds that can selectively target and activate one type of immune cells. This initiated sub-sort of invulnerable cells was then appeared to be viable in annihilating bladder disease cells.

To create the compounds, scientists designed and made a series of prodrugs of ProPAgens. These showed potent activation of the immune response, which led to the elimination of bladder cancer cells.

Dr. Youcef Mehellou, who co-lead the study, said: “The compounds we discovered are a very promising starting point in developing new immunotherapeutic drugs against many diseases like cancer and tuberculosis. The potency of these compounds in eradicating cancer cells is quite impressive and we are currently optimizing them further with the view of studying their efficacy and safety in cancer models very soon.”

The study can be read online here.