The world’s first cancer vaccine is coming soon

On February 23, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified Moderna’s melanoma treatment vaccine as “breakthrough”. This means it could be approved for use as soon as possible in the next few months. Certification of a vaccine as “breakthrough” shows that the FDA believes the vaccine has the potential to treat a disease.

According to the Daily Mail (UK), phase 2 trials have demonstrated that using this anti-cancer vaccine in combination with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda produced by Merck, reduces the risk of recurrence or death by up to 44%. death due to skin cancer.

This combination vaccine is used to protect against the risk of tumor recurrence in patients with advanced melanoma.

How do vaccines work?

mRNA vaccine

This new vaccine is designed for people at high risk of melanoma, uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to deliver genetic code from a patient’s tumor into their cells and instruct the body to fight cancer. The vaccine is given to patients  after surgery to prevent the tumor from recurring and is tailored to each patient, meaning each patient receives a different vaccine.

The vaccine uses DNA from each patient’s tumor, inserted so that the mRNA makes a protein. When injected into the body, the mRNA delivers this code to the body’s muscle cells, helping them recognize cancer cells and attack them before they can begin to multiply and form tumors.

The phase 2 trial included 157 patients who received the personalized vaccine combined with Keytruda, along with a control group that received Keytruda alone. If the effect is clear, this therapy will be tested on a larger scale.

Currently, Moderna has a phase 3 trial planned, and the project will begin later this year with dozens of patients.

A course of the vaccine includes 9 doses given every 3 weeks, and is combined with the drug Keytruda given also every 3 weeks, according to the Daily Mail.

In addition, Merck and Moderna are also considering applying for other types of cancer treatments, including paid cancer.

How does the vaccine production process take place?

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Over the past decade, Cancer researchers have developed personalized cancer vaccines that use mRNA technology to create new antigens. The vaccine production process begins by identifying genetic mutations in the patient’s cancer cells that produce the corresponding antigens. They then collect tissue samples from the patient to create a personalized mRNA cancer vaccine, which takes 1-2 months. Vaccines can contain up to 34 different types of atomic warfare, designed to trigger the mechanical immune system to detect and destroy individual cancer cells.

Moderna can produce each individual vaccine in about 6 weeks. However, the specificity of the manufacturing process makes the cost very high, estimated at up to 100,000 USD per patient, according to the US National Cancer Institute and the US CDC.


Source: US CDC, Thanh Nien Newspaper.

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