Rotavirus vaccine: A potential new role as an anticancer agent

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(Delthia Ricks/ Medical Xpress) — Numerous vaccines, from flu shots to those those that help thwart chickenpox and measles, are widely used to guard against contagion, but researchers in France are proposing a breakthrough role for rotavirus vaccines: deploying them in cancer treatment.

Scientists from throughout France—Paris, Lyon, Villejuif and beyond—are part of a large research team that has asked a tantalizing question: Can rotavirus vaccines be repurposed to overcome resistance in cancer immunotherapy? The team is focusing on resistance that emerges to the form of cancer treatment known as checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.

So far, their investigation suggests the question about repurposing can be answered with a resounding “yes.”

“We have found that rotavirus vaccines, Rotateq and Rotarix, have both immunostimulatory and oncolytic properties,” Dr. Tala Shekarian of Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon told Medical Xpress. (…)

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