There are two ways to fight cancer. Either we directly attacks cancer cells with chemotherapy, either we act to mobilize the immune system against tumors, says the Department of Medicine’s alma mater Fribourg in a statement Thursday.

Scientists at the Pharmacology Chair directed by Professor Carole Bourquin have chosen to explore the second strategy. The team used substances capable of activating the immune system to send to the front against the disease. Specifically, the researchers pushed the defense system to produce interferons. “These are molecules which stop the production of chemokine” means a protein generated by the tumor obstructs the immune system via its regulatory T cells.

“The therapeutic prospects are excellent,” say the scientists, who published their findings in the journal Cancer Research. Clinical practice could be changed back in a few years.

There is already a treatment focusing on the immune system since 2011. “The effects are awesome!” Exclaims Carole Bourquin, quoted in the statement. And they only get better, the researchers said, since the substance to reinvigorate the body’s defenses is known now.