A new study by Cornell University scientists suggests immunotherapies to fight skin cancer more effectively may help modify tumors biology.

Immune cells that live inside cancer cells can trigger dangerous changes causing tumors to grow uncontrollably and leaving seldom-severe scars in patients. Their presence also underscores the importance of understanding the bodys immune system as a principal way to treat many types of cancers.

In a study published February 21 in Nature Photonics members of the laboratory of Yiping Bi and first author of the article Zhi Chen discuss their study of a potential immunotherapeutic against type 1 diabetes and melanoma.

Immunotherapies are research breakthroughs that offer a way to enable cells to self-destruct and allow the body to destroy harmful cells that cause cancer. Researchers have known for several years that some cancer cells can fire on they own but immune-stimulation therapies have been successfully applied on tumors that did not respond to conventional immunotherapies.

For this study we screened several types of immune checkpoint inhibitors and evaluated the impact of these therapies in mice with melanoma and lung broken skin cancer.

Yiping Bi senior author and associate professor of pathology at Cornell University.