"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

“Exciting results” for vaccines from pancreatic tumors

May 11, 2023 – The first results for brand spanking new personalized vaccines against pancreatic cancer are so promising that even the researchers themselves are surprised.

Using experimental vaccines created from people's own pancreatic cancer tumors can have prevented a relapse of the cruel disease in half of the patients treated, in accordance with a small study published this week within the journal. Nature.

About 80% of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma typically experience a relapse of the cancer about 14 months after surgery, and fewer than 30% survive for an additional 5 years, the researchers write. Among the 16 individuals who received the personalized vaccines, eight people showed no signs of cancer relapse after 18 months, and their bodies mounted a remarkably strong immune response.

The vaccines use mRNA technology, which became known through its use in COVID-19 vaccines. This study of mRNA vaccines against pancreatic cancer was initiated before the pandemic began. It was led by researchers on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and in addition by researchers in Germany.

“These exciting results suggest that we may be able to use vaccines as a therapy for pancreatic cancer,” said surgeon and researcher Vinod Balachandran of Sloan Kettering in a opinion“The findings support our strategy of tailoring each vaccine to each individual patient’s tumor.”

The mRNA vaccines teach the immune system to attack the cancer cells. The novel approach is especially essential because existing therapies for any such cancer, resembling chemotherapy, still typically result in rapid reoccurrence of the disease.

Next, the researchers will proceed to watch the 16 treated people and check out to search out out why half of them relapsed. A second, larger study can be planned.