Scientists Make Strides Toward a Universal Cancer Vaccine

As reported in Nature, scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany have conducted research that shows potential for the development of a cancer vaccine that may work for any type of tumor from any type of cancer.

This new ‘immunotherapy’ works by activating a cancer patient’s immune system by shooting tiny darts into immune cells. The darts contain RNA, a crucial biological molecule, which is extracted from the patient’s own cancer cells. The vaccine also contains a cancer-specific antigen, which helps trigger the immune system to attack, not just the injected cells but those in the rest of the body where the cancer is growing.

So far most of the research has been conducted in mice but three humans were part of a trial to evaluate the safety of the vaccine. The results are promising and in 12 months, if the follow-up results from the safety trial remain positive, a larger clinical trial will begin.

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Posted in: Cancer