People who received the personalized melanoma skin cancer vaccine in addition to standard care were 44 percent less likely to die during the study than those who received standard care alone
December 15, 2022
A customized cancer vaccine that primes an individual’s immune system to attack the unique biology of their tumor has halted the progression of melanoma skin cancer in nearly half of people enrolled in a randomized clinical trial.
we usually think of vaccine are used to prevent infection, but there is growing interest in using them to treat disease, especially cancer. The idea of a vaccine is to help immune system Fight foreign agents, whether Virus or cancer cells.
The trial is being run by pharmaceutical company Moderna, which uses mRNA technology similar to its own to make personalized cancer vaccines Coronavirus disease vaccine. The trial consisted of 157 people from the US and Australia who had recently had surgery to remove their melanoma but were at high risk of developing new tumors because some cancer cells had spread to other parts of the body.
All participants received an existing melanoma immunotherapy called pembrolizumab, sold under the brand name Keytruda. Two-thirds also received a personalized cancer vaccine.
The vaccines are made by first identifying a unique set of proteins on each participant’s melanoma.The researchers then created mRNA Once the mRNA is injected, this instructs the participants’ cells to produce fragments of up to 34 of these proteins. Thus, the vaccine trains an individual’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells that express these proteins.
Participants who received the personalized vaccine plus pembrolizumab were 44 percent less likely to develop new tumors or die during a follow-up period of up to three years, compared with participants who received pembrolizumab alone, According to a Moderna press release.
“It’s exciting that you’re using people’s own tumors as a trigger for vaccination, so hopefully there will be better [cancer] long-term outcome because it is tumor-specific,” said Colwyn Shannon At the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a cancer hospital in Sydney, Australia.
Vaccine given nine times a year is also safe, says Georgina Long At the University of Sydney, he was involved in trials in Australia.Side effects include redness at the injection site or influenza– Similar symptoms for a few days, she said.
Vaccines to treat cancer have been in development for decades, but most have failed due to variability among people’s tumors.
To overcome this challenge, since around 2014, several research groups have been developing personalized cancer vaccines with generally promising results. Moderna’s trial is the largest reported to date and the only one with a randomized controlled design.
The company plans to start a trial of 1,000 melanoma patients in 2023.
Most trials of personalized cancer vaccines have been conducted on patients with melanoma, a type of cancer that expresses multiple proteins on its surface that can be targeted with vaccines. Moderna said that following these promising melanoma results, it plans to rapidly expand its personalized vaccine to target other tumor types.
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