According to the newspaper on Eurekalert, a group of researchers from the University of London Queen Mary, together with their Chinese colleagues from Zhengzhou University have developed a personalized system of vaccination, which ultimately can prevent or delay the development of pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the vaccine has already passed even the first phase of testing and the results come out quite optimistic, not only in terms of creating a vaccine for the prevention of pancreatic cancer, but also for the growth of an existing tumor formation.
How to create a vaccine against cancer
It should be noted that for some types of cancer vaccines exist. But in this case vaccine impact on the cancer itself and its cause. For example, quite successfully used drugs for vaccination against human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer.
Vaccines work by teaching the immune system to recognize and kill pathogens in the body. To do this, immune cells to recognize molecules on the surface of pathogens, called antigens. By introducing these antigens as a vaccine, the immune system can safely learn to recognize them as foreign objects and to be aware of this if they will be again in the body. But with cancer there’s a problem. The development of a preventive vaccine against non-viral cancers are extremely limited by the lack of appropriate tumor antigens and effective approach to launch a sustained antitumor immunity. — says one of the authors Professor Wang Yaohe of London’s Queen Mary University.
Therefore, in order to create the vaccine, the team of scientists had to develop an unusual method. For a start, they took samples of pancreatic cells in mice genetically predisposed to cancer and transformed cells in malignant. For this genetic code of cells introduced two mutations, known as factors of cancer. After that, cells infected with a special virus. Dying cells were identified specific antigens characteristic of pancreatic cancer. By way of response, the immune system can recognize the first signs of tumors and destroy them. If you are interested in this topic — subscribe to our news Telegram-channel.
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Introducing these infected cells of laboratory mice, the team was able to delay onset of the disease, doubling the time their survival compared to mice that did not receive the vaccine. But there is one important point. Such a vaccine can easily be created for people, however this vaccine will not be universal as the same vaccine against influenza.
The genetic makeup of cancer varies from person to person. This means that the treatment is effective for one patient may be ineffective against another cancer. This suggests that in each case the vaccine should be created separately. For each patient of the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
At the moment the team is not only more vaccine trials and attract people to testing but also considers various ways to improve the vaccine itself, including an increase in the number of vaccinations or the development of combined vaccines, which can be combined with other methods of treatment and prevention of cancer. For example, immunotherapy.