A unique new cancer treatment uses gene therapy to induce a cancer-fighting immune response whose intensity can then be controlled with a pill. The combination could help tailor treatment to a patient’s individual response.
The treatment uses the body’s own cells or tumor cells to produce extra copies of a naturally occurring hormone-like molecule called IL-12, which regulates anticancer immune responses. Last week, Ziopharm Oncology announced a clinical study of the treatment for patients with breast cancer. The company is already testing it in patients with melanoma.