Paving the Way for Cancer Vaccine Success

Drs Daina Vanags, Cori Gorman and Christian K. Schneider

When the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved, it established the principle that cancer can be prevented, perhaps even treated, by a vaccination. This success followed research which found that 95% of cervical cancers are due to HPV.

Now Merck, one of the leaders in HPV vaccination, is funding the development and worldwide license of a vaccine candidate to limit Epstein Barr virus (EBV) entry and infection of B cells after it was found that EBV increases the risk of some cancer types. The EBV candidate that Merck is developing in collaboration with ModeX is a nanoparticle vaccine.

Infection with human viruses found in tumours, such as EBV and HPV, are thought to represent the first step in the process leading to the generation of a malignant cell.

These developments are important next steps in the journey to better manage, treat and potentially cure cancer. They come as the field continues to witness breakthroughs with advanced immunotherapy treatments, offering clinicians and patients new options that go well beyond the traditional tools of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Most notable are breakthroughs in genetically engineered T cells or chimeric antibody receptor (CAR)-specific T cell therapies, which utilize known tumour-associated antigens to attract tumour-specific T cells into the tumours. Read the full article on The Journal of mHealth

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