Scientist (and most likely nighttime supervillain) Dr. Vile (seriously) may have cured cancer. He has, at least, in mice. Like any self-respecting supervillain would, he used the ol’ bait-and-switch technique. On the mice’s immune systems.
Sometimes an immune system doesn’t go after a cancer because it doesn’t know it’s there. So in order to get the attention of the immune system, Dr. Vile (I’m gonna use it whenever possible, it’s just too fucking cool a name) put the DNA of tumorous prostate tissue into a virus that the mice’s immune systems recognize and injected that virus into mice. Once their systems picked up on the virus carrying tumor DNA, the immune system made cells to attack anything that looked like the virus, which included the tumors. It’s the genetic equivalent of racial profiling, really.
All infections, allergens and tissues, including tumors, have a unique fingerprint called an antigen — a molecular protein tag that triggers a response from the body’s immune system. Dr. Vile deployed the human vaccine prostate cancer antigens through the mutated VSV vector to raise a full-on assault from the mice’s T-cells. After exposure to the mutated viruses, the animals’ immune systems recognized the antigens expressed in the virus and produced a potent immune response to attack the prostate tumors.
I told you his name was Dr. Vile. Isn’t that awesome?