Some group of scientists are about to gain patent for one of the greatest scientific breakthrough as they have discovered universal cancerous tumour vaccine which empowers the body’s immune system to fight tumours like they were a virus.
The Independent, UK, report says the potential new therapy involves injecting tiny particles of genetic RNA code into the body which travel to the immune cells and teach them to recognise specific cancers.
Researchers injected the mixture of the code as a trail, into the bloodstreams of three patients in the advanced stages of the disease. The patients were given low doses of the vaccine, not to test how it works, and while their systems seemed to react to the dose, there was no evidence that their cancers went away as a result.
The patients’ immune systems responded by producing “killer” T-cells (which normally fight infections) designed to attack cancer. In one patient, a suspected tumour on a lymph node got smaller after they were given the vaccine. Another patient, whose tumours had been surgically removed, was cancer-free seven months after vaccination.
According to the report, the third patient had eight tumours that had spread from the initial skin cancer into their lungs. These tumours remained “clinically stable” after they were given the vaccine.
The immunotherapy (vaccine treatment of cancer) is expected to gain the upper hand over the usual Chemotherapy used in removing cancerous tumors in a patient and is causing great excitement in the medical community.
The cancer vaccine is already being used to treat some cancers with a number of patients still in remission more than 10 years after treatment.
While traditional cancer treatment for testicular and other forms of the disease can lead to a complete cure, lung cancer, melanoma, and some brain and neck cancers have proved difficult to treat. It was also found to be effective in fighting “aggressively growing” tumours in mice.
Professor Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany, who led the research said:
“[Such] vaccines are fast and inexpensive to produce, and virtually any tumour antigen [a protein attacked by the immune system] can be encoded by RNA.
“Thus, the nanoparticulate RNA immunotherapy approach introduced here may be regarded as a universally applicable novel vaccine class for cancer immunotherapy.”
Dr. Helen Rippon, chief executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said;
“We know the immune system has great potential to be manipulated and reactivated to fight cancer cells, that’s why we’ve been funding research into this for 15 years. These are exciting and novel results, showing the promise of an RNA nanoparticle vaccine to do just that.”
She described the immune response in the three patients as “positive” and noted that advanced skin cancer was “a notoriously difficult cancer to treat”.
“However, more research is needed in a larger number of people with different cancer types and over longer periods of time before we could gain patent for having discovered a ‘universal cancer vaccine’. But this research is a very positive step forwards towards this global goal,” she said.