Millions of people die of cancer every year and there could only be taken little steps for its cure. Now scientists say that they have taken steps towards ceating a universal vaccine which makes the immune system attack tumours.
It may sound unbelievable but an international team of scientists described the fact in detail. Taking pieces of genetic RNA code of cancer is the starting point of the research and after putting it into nanoparticles, its being ready for injecting into the bloodstreams. 3 patients in the advanced stages of cancer were injected the mixture and their immune systems responded by producing the killer T-cells which are appropriate to attack tumours as if they were virus.
The researchers who were led by Ugur Sahin from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany found that the vaccine also effected the tumours which are aggressively growing in the bodies of mice. According to the report, the immune system of three patients who were given low doses of vaccine, gave reaction but as a result cancer did not go away. It is said that the aim of the trial was not to test how well the vaccine worked but to see the way of the reaction. However, after giving the vaccine, a suspected tumour in one of three patients, got smaller and another patient whose tumours had been removed was cancer-free after vaccination. But the third patient whose eight tumours had spread from initial skin cancer into lungs, did not get well and the tumours had remainded stable according to the report.
Professor Alan Melcher, of the Institute of Cancer Research, says that immunotherapy for cancer is a rapidly evolving field and this new research carried on mice and a small number of patients, shows that an immune response against the antigens within a cancer can be triggered by a new type of cancer vaccine. Melcher says that although the research is very interesting, it is still some way away from being of proven benefit to patients.