RNA vaccine shows promising results against most lethal cancer

RNA vaccine shows promising results against most lethal cancer

Early results from a 16-volunteer clinical trial showed that an experimental, personalized messenger RNA vaccine induces substantial immune response and potentially delays relapse. of patients in one form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

It achieves this when used with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, surgery and a type of immunotherapy. The results of the phase 1 clinical trial are published in the journal Nature, in an article led by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (USA).

The study shows that personalized messenger RNA vaccines. “show promise” in pancreatic cancerNature notes. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has low survival rates. A combination of surgical and medical therapies can delay recurrence, but their success rates are low, the journal reminds.

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Recent literature suggests that lhe majority of these cancers harbor elevated levels of neoantigens.which are cell surface proteins that can arise on the surface of tumors following certain types of DNA mutations.

These proteins may be the target of personalized vaccine therapies in order to enhance T-cell activity and improve outcomes.. As summarized by the authors in their article: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is lethal in 88 percent of patients, yet harbors mutation-derived T-cell neoantigens that are suitable for vaccines.

“An enhanced immune response.”

In this phase 1 clinical trial, Vinod Balachandran and his team administered a personalized messenger RNA vaccine in combination with chemotherapy and immunotherapy to 16 patients. The vaccine was prepared according to the characteristics of each patient’s tumor. They observed substantial T-cell responses in 50 percent of themwhich indicates that the vaccine can induce a enhanced immune response.”

At 18 months follow-up, patients with vaccine-expanded T cells had a longer median recurrence-free survival compared with patients without vaccine-expanded T cells (13.4 months).

A dog receiving a vaccine.

These results demonstrate the potential of individualized messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in the treatment of this pancreatic cancer, as well as providing evidence of their overall efficacy as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of the disease. Such mRNA vaccines put a stop to covid-19, a technology that was, however, initially conceived in an attempt to develop cancer vaccines.

“May increase survival times.”

This is a fertile field of research thanks to the better knowledge of the immune system and technical developments.. The authors point out that, despite the limited sample size, these first results indicate that larger studies of this type of preparations are justified. For Manel Juan, head of the Immunology Department at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, “the study is very well designed and its scientific quality is unquestionable”.

“It demonstrates something that has been suggested many times before (with less solid data), which is that personalized vaccination with tumor antigen mRNAs Is effective in inducing a response and that it can, at the very least, increase survival times.“According to this researcher, who is not involved in the work. This study confirms that it can generate responses with clearly very low adverse effects against one of the tumors with the highest mortality, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, he told Science Media Centre Spain.

“The work fits perfectly with the increasing number of papers showing evidence for these treatments. The main contribution is that it achieves this in a tumor generally considered not very reactive to immunotherapy and reconfirms all of us who consider that immunotherapy is a general approach more dependent on the immune status of the person than on the type of tumor in particular.”

Kayleigh Williams