New Zealand scientists studying new vaccine against addiction, which will teach our immune system to reject certain drugs before they can cause highs.
Researchers have tried, unsuccessfully, to create such intervention since 1970.
Dr. Benjamin Compton believed that failure is not obliged to the concept itself, but to the development of viable vaccines.
Chemistry Researchers at the University of Victoria – which has helped developed the treatment of cancer immunotherapy, asthma, influenza and malaria – trying to create a synthetic vaccine that works in a completely different way to the others so far tested.
According to the New Zealand Drug Foundation 45000 New Zealanders are supported to reduce their consumption of alcohol and drugs every year – and that it is estimated that only a third of them have problems with their use.
The Ministry of Health puts the expense and harm of drug intervention in the $ 1800000000.
Working with the Immunology Dr. Lisa Connor, Compton plans pioneer vaccine platform, capable of generating an immune response to small drug compound type.
If successful, the vaccine would obviate the need to rely on the use of proteins to activate the immune system.
The ultimate goal with a & # 39; is to be able to instruct the immune system to recognize a specific drug when it enters the blood stream and treat it as a toxin.
This means that the antibodies will bind to the target of the drug at the periphery and prevent it from crossing the blood-brain bar & # 39; er, where he usually interact with receptors and elicit high.
"Achieving this goal will predict a new paradigm in immunopharmacotherapy,» said Compton, who has just received a grant of $ 150,000 from the Research Council of Health to work.
"And most importantly, we strive to create a vaccine that can be manufactured group, at a low price."
Vaccine & # 39 is one of the most cost effective and powerful medical interventions available, Compton said, and he believed that it should be possible to vaccinate against drug addiction.
"In the end, what we are trying to do is to form a robust response B-cells – antibody response – for the specific purposes of the drug."
Traditionally, this was done by the first generation of a response from the T cells – the white blood cells that protect us from infections and diseases – which, in turn, enhanced response of B-cells.
However, due to the complexity of the human body, creating the desired response of T-cells can be tricky.
Cell processing and presentation of proteins Var & # 39; Irawan from person to person, which, in particular, may have been responsible for past failures in the development of vaccines against the abuse of drugs.
Compton expects its novel vaccine should improve the response of T-cells or, more preferably, directly activate B cells independently from T cell response.
But even if the vaccine can activate B cells directly, which in itself may not be enough – and the key to the creation of such a vaccine effective in & # 39 is to ensure that it also results in a memory response to the drug.
"We're trying to figure out the easiest way to activate B cells, so that we can cause memory response for compounds that would otherwise not be recognized by the immune system."
Compton initially will test its vaccine in mice, and, if he could prove the concept works, it could be revolutionary.
"This technology is very useful for those addicts who want to get rid of their addiction. If the person comes in contact with the drug, the vaccine will ensure that there is no reward from taking the drug behavior. "
Executive Director of the Research Council for Health, Professor Kota McPherson said the study was considered an important issue of concern for the individual and public health.
"Drug addiction is a & # 39; is a serious & # 39; oznay problem throughout the world, which not only results in personal injury, death and loss of quality of life, but it also costs our health care system is very hospital and emergency care, treatment and counseling," said it.
"The vaccine may well be the way of the future. When Dr. Compton can deliver proof of concept, it could be a groundbreaking step towards the development of a vaccine in the future. "
The device for detecting cancer early
Meanwhile, another of the 15 grants went to the Council of the researcher prior to cancer researchers, who hopes to pioneer an implanted device that can normally detect cancer at an early stage.
Couple Professor Guilford, cancer genetics and biology expert at the University of Otago, invited "the indwelling device" that has the potential to transform cancer survival.
The device is inserted into the body and left there for some period of time, so that it can pick up a new generation signal cancer "biomarkers" called circulating tumor DNA or ctDNA.
These markers are not only able to detect traces of cancer with incredible specificity, but can also pick up the majority of cancers.
However, its modest sensitivity for early stage disease due to the small number of molecules ctDNA, which can be purified by standard 8 ml of blood collection.
"It works well for the later stage of the disease, but do not have the sensitivity to find cancer early, when treatment by surgery is still possible," explains Guilford.
"We propose to develop who live device that will capture more than 36 times more ctDNA during the 30-minute period that allows this technology usually detect cancer at an early stage.
"We believe that this will be the majority of tumors are diagnosed while they are still small enough to be cured by surgery."