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Transplant drug offers surprising boost for vaccines

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A drug used to block immune cells from attacking transplanted organs also triggers the increased production of memory T-cells, and that could play a surprising role in boosting the effectiveness of cancer vaccines and other jabs.

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine infected mice with a virus and then gave them the drug to determine how their bodies would respond. The mice treated with rapamycin not only had more memory T-cells than the control mice, they had better T-cells. And that gave the mice a much stronger set of defenses in the event the virus returned. 

"We were completely surprised," says Rafi Ahmed. Now the researchers will try and determine how the drug can be dosed in a way that boosts T-cell production without suppressing the body's immune system, which would make it more vulnerable to attack.

- read the report from New Scientist

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