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STINGel Doesn’t Give Cancer a Chance

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A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel
A scanning electron microscope image of the injectable cancer-fighting hydrogel, dubbed STINGel(Credit: Hartgerink Research Group/Rice University)

The cure for cancer might have been inside us all along – our own immune system. The trick is to give it a boost to find and destroy those rogue cells, and that’s the focus of the field of immunotherapy. To that end, a new hydrogel has been developed that can be injected directly to the site of a tumor, where it stays to slowly release its payload of immunotherapy drugs for longer.

Put the two into a ring, and the immune system will win every round against cancer. To give itself a fighting chance, the Big C instead focuses its attention on stealth attacks, using a variety of tactics to evade detection by the immune system until it can grow strong enough to overwhelm the body.

 Immunotherapy aims to swing the odds back into our favor, re-arming the immune system with new ways to detect and kill cancer cells. These techniques mainly involve extracting a sample of a patient’s T cells, genetically engineering them to attack tumors, and returning them to the body. Others may be able to stimulate the system with a single injection, akin to a cancer vaccine.

Cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) are a type of drug sometimes used in immunotherapy treatments, usually administered through a simple injection. The problem is that the drugs end up being circulated throughout the body, which diminishes the concentration at the tumor site and results in them being flushed out of the body relatively quickly.

The new study, conducted by researchers at Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth), set out to keep the drugs in the right spot for longer. Rather than being contained in a liquid solution, the CDNs are loaded onto self-assembling multidomain peptide (MDP) hydrogels. These start off in a liquid form for injection, but once inside the body they quickly turn semi-solid, before degrading slowly over time. In the process, they release their cancer-killing CDNs more gradually and precisely. The team calls their creation STINGel.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

One comment on “STINGel Doesn’t Give Cancer a Chance

  1. Pingback: STINGel Doesn’t Give Cancer a Chance – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page

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