Cancer Vaccines Are Showing Promise!

Given the furious metabolism of the news – 14 rounds of really?, Ukraine, China, Damar Hamlin, an even a more contagious Covid strain – we decided to curate a positive story. The following article titled “Cancer vaccines are showing promise. Here’s how they work” appeared in National Geographic. Apparently the immediate goal is to create vaccines that destroy cancer cells — but some scientists are also testing vaccines that might prevent us from developing cancer. One key is the breakthrough mRNA technology used to develop COVID vaccines.

Typically, vaccines help protect us against diseases. But cancer vaccines are different; they are potential therapies for treating people who already have cancer. These treatments have been years in the making, and failures have been frequent, but they’re now starting to show some promise.

In the last decade, technological innovations like genome sequencing have allowed scientists to take a closer look at tumor cells and their genetic abnormalities. This is helping them design vaccines aimed at much more specific targets. At the same time, we’ve been learning a lot more about the immune system and how it recognizes and destroys a patient’s tumor, says cellular immunologist Stephen Schoenberger at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego.

Cancer vaccine research is still in the nascent stages, says Nina Bhardwaj, a hematology and medical oncology expert at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. But early results from clinical trials testing dozens of vaccine candidates against a variety of cancers look encouraging, she says.

The goal is to roll out vaccines that destroy cancer cells, but some scientists are also testing vaccines that might one day prevent a high-risk individual from developing cancer.

What are cancer vaccines?
The purpose of all vaccines, be it a cancer vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine, is to educate the immune system and provide a preview of the target that needs to be identified and destroyed to keep the body safe…

Continue reading here to find out how the vaccine works, how scientists are creating the vaccines, how they function in our bodies, and more.

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