New cancer vaccines eliminate tumors and prevent cancer recurrence

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Researchers around the world have been working for years on developing vaccines against different types of cancer but without much success.

In a study from Tufts University, scientists found one that does work.

They have devised a method of targeting cancer in mice with a vaccine that is so strong and precise, it eliminates tumors and even prevents their recurrence.

The cancer vaccine works similarly to COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna which deliver mRNA in tiny lipid (fat molecule) bubbles that ultimately fuse with cells in the body.

It allows the cells to “read” the mRNA and produce viral antigens, small fragments of the virus that activate the immune system.

The cancer vaccine also delivers mRNA in tiny bubbles, but the mRNA codes for antigens found in cancer cells, and the bubbles, called lipid nanoparticles, can zero in on the lymphatic system—where immune cells are ‘trained’—so that the response is significantly more potent.

The team says they are developing the next generation of mRNA vaccines using lipid nanoparticle delivery technology, with the ability to target specific organs and tissues.

Targeting the lymphatic system helped us to overcome many of the challenges that have faced others in developing a cancer vaccine.

More than 20 mRNA cancer vaccines have been enrolled to date in clinical trials, but usually, much of the mRNA ends up in the liver.

While antigens produced in the liver can still induce an immune response, there remains a risk of liver inflammation and damage.

The response could be more effective and long-lasting if more of the vaccine were directed to the lymphatic system, where B cells, T cells, and other cells of the immune system are concentrated and learn to fight off unwelcome intruders.

With more vaccines going to the lymph nodes, the researchers discovered that the cancer vaccine was absorbed by about a third of the dendritic cells and macrophages.

That’s much more than obtained with conventional vaccines, and more ‘drill sergeants’ means more trained B and T cell ‘soldiers’ and a more potent response against tumors carrying the same antigen found in the vaccine.

This cancer vaccine evokes a much stronger response and is capable of carrying mRNA for both large and small antigens.

The researchers are hoping that it could become a universal platform not only for cancer vaccines but also for more effective vaccines against viruses and other pathogens.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about how to reduce pancreatic cancer spread by nearly 90%, and what you need to know cancer and booster shot.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about new way to increase the longevity of cancer survivors, and results showing vitamin D could benefit men with advanced cancer.

The study was conducted by Qiaobing Xu et al and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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