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25 June, 2024
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New vaccine shows promise against deadly skin cancer

Doctors test personalized mRNA cancer vaccine treatment aimed at stopping melanoma's return


In a groundbreaking development in cancer treatment, doctors are conducting trials on what could be the world’s first personalized mRNA vaccine against melanoma, marking a potential game-changer in the fight against cancer.

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer affecting about 132,000 people annually worldwide, has traditionally been treated with surgery, alongside other methods like radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, experts are now exploring new avenues with custom-built vaccines tailored to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.

Phase 2 trials have shown promising results, significantly reducing the risk of cancer recurrence in melanoma patients. Now, a phase 3 trial led by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) is underway to further investigate this innovative approach.

Dr. Heather Shaw, the national coordinating investigator for the trial, expressed optimism about the vaccine's potential to cure melanoma and potentially other cancers like lung, bladder, and kidney. The vaccine, known as mRNA-4157 (V940), targets tumor neoantigens, markers expressed by tumors that can be recognized by the immune system.

What sets this vaccine apart is its individualized nature. It is designed based on a patient’s specific tumor mutations, identified through DNA sequencing and artificial intelligence. This personalized approach aims to activate the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells effectively.

Early data from phase 2 trials showed promising outcomes, with patients receiving the mRNA vaccine alongside immunotherapy demonstrating a significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence or death compared to those receiving immunotherapy alone.

Now, with the launch of phase 3 trials involving a larger pool of patients, including those with high-risk melanomas, researchers are hopeful that this innovative vaccine could be a game changer in cancer treatment, offering new hope to patients who see it as their best chance to halt the progression of their cancer.

[Information sourced from the Guardian]

Cyprus  |  health  |  cancer

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