A new approach to fighting cancerous tumors in mice by Stanford University researchers has been found to not only eliminate the tumors they targeted, it eliminated all cancer found in the mice.

The researchers used a one-time application of two agents injected directly into a tumor. The agents work by stimulating the immune cells only inside the tumor itself, but doctors found some of the T-cells stimulated kept on working after their initial job was done.

Dr. Ronald Levy, senior author of the study published in the journal Science Translation Medicine, says one of the agents (CpG oligonucleotide) works with nearby immune cells to amplify a receptor on the surface of T cells.

The other agent is an antibody that binds with the T-cell receptors to “lead the charge against the cancer cells.”

Some of these “tumor-specific” activated T-cells then leave the tumor and go on a hunt and destroy mission for other identical tumors in the body. In 87 of 90 mice, the T-cells worked on the tumor targeted but also saw the un-targeted tumor cured.

Researchers say they saw results in lymphoma tumors, breast cancer tumors, colon, and melanoma tumors.

One of the agents is already approved for use in humans and the other is currently involved in a clinical trial to test the effect in lymphoma patients.