Wouldn’t it be great if we could fight colon cancer with a vaccine? Doctors are working on that now.

In one phase of their research, they’re testing an experimental method. They take a virus and alter it or mix it with a gene found in cancerous cells. Then they inject that mixture into the body. The body recognizes it as foreign, and that boosts the immune system to fight it.

cancer vaccinesOther phases are focusing on adding or subtracting parts of cells from tumors removed from the body, and then injecting that now foreign tissue back into the patient.

Scientists hope these methods will work as well or better than chemotherapy, without some of chemotherapy’s side effects.

Doctors are already using vaccines like these to treat melanoma and breast cancer.

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