Specifically, T-cells often infiltrate and attack cancer cells.
Scientists at Stanford University in the U.S. found that injecting tiny amounts of two drugs directly into a tumour not only kills the original cancer, but also triggers an "amazing bodywide" reaction which destroys distant cancer cells.
Individually they have to be matched to a particular type of cancer, but when used in combination it appears they have a much more potent, and wide-ranging impact.
Since the shot's application is so localized, the researchers insist it is cost-effective and unlikely to cause adverse side effects often seen in other kinds of immune simulation.
"When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumours all over the body", said senior author of the study Ronald Levy, Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in the US. Furthermore, one of them has already been approved for human use, while the other has been used in several unrelated studies, without posing any major health risks.
A clinical trial was launched in January to test the effect of the treatment in patients with lymphoma.
Dr. Levy said in this study, "It has recently become apparent that the immune system can cure cancer".
However, as the tumour grows, it often devises ways to suppress the activity of the T cells.
While some approaches stimulate the entire immune system, others target certain areas to block the cancer from straying, and others (like the newly-approved auto T-cell therapy) removed immune cells from the body to genetically-engineer them. To do this, they inject a target tumour with a couple of micrograms of a short stretch of DNA called a CpG oligonucleotide.
The second, an antibody that binds to the receptor, activates the T cells to attack the cancer cells.
Not only that, it also destroyed rogue cells from the tumors that had already traveled to other sites in the rodents' bodies, researchers reported. So when the immune cells leave the tumor, they only seek out cells from that specific cancer, Levy said.
A cure for one of the deadliest diseases - Cancer - is something that scientists around the world have tirelessly worked towards discovering.
"In the mice, we saw fantastic, body-wide effects, including the elimination of tumours all over the animal". TLRs are components of the innate immune system that recognize molecular patterns on pathogens.
At last, Sagiv-Barfi investigated the specificity of the T cells by transplanting two sorts of tumors into the mice. Despite the fact that the cancer repeated in three of the mice, the tumors again relapsed following a moment treatment. The researchers saw similar results in mice with breast, colon and melanoma tumors.
After decades of development in the shadow of traditional cancer treatment, immunotherapy has come into the spotlight. Treating the first tumor that arose often prevented the occurrence of future tumors and significantly increased the animals' lifespan, the researchers found. She transplanted the same lymphoma cancer cells in two locations, and she transplanted a colon cancer cell line in a third location.
"This is a very targeted approach", Levy said. "Just the tumor that offers the protein targets showed by the treated site is influenced. We're attacking specific targets without having to identify exactly what proteins the T cells are recognizing".
The current clinical trial is relied upon to select around 15 patients with poor quality lymphoma.
But Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was considerably more cautious about the treatment's potential.
"If we stimulate the immune cells, we can get them to do their job at the tumor and do the job elsewhere", he said.
The work is a case of Stanford Medicine's attention on accuracy wellbeing, the objective of which is to foresee and anticipate malady in the solid and accurately analyze and treat infection in the evil.