The discovery of the mRNA vaccine cures pancreatic cancer

The positive results of the new vaccine have raised hopes of curing pancreatic cancer. One of the most deadly cancers with limited access to treatment, despite medical advances over the past two decades, the standard of living for patients with pancreatic cancer is very low. This reporter makes the RNA vaccine [the same technology used to make the COVID-19 vaccines of US firms Pfizer and Moderna] A major medical breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The vaccine gave promising results in a small trial involving people with early detection of autogenous cevumeran cancer. Half of the 16 patients became cancer-free 18 months after the tumors were removed and the mRNA vaccine was given.

According to the New York-based Cancer Research Institute, approximately 460,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, leading to an estimated 430,000 deaths each year.

Medical experts are very excited because the results show that a specially designed vaccine can train the human immune system to kill pancreatic cancer cells by activating immune cells that target tumors.

This is only Phase I of the test; More extensive testing is required to confirm its effectiveness. However, given the high mortality rate, the vaccine offers real hope.

Here we look at the pancreas, its functions, and how the vaccine fights pancreatic cancer.

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is an important organ located behind the stomach, in the back of the abdomen, and near the gallbladder. Approximately 15 cm long, it plays a key role in digestion by producing enzymes to digest hormones, including insulin and fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in a part of the pancreas. There are no early signs until the cancer has advanced. According to Healthline, even in the advanced stages, some pancreatic cancer symptoms may be subtle.

Pancreatic cancer is more common in women. Although it can occur at any age, pancreatic cancer can occur after the age of 55.

What types of cancer are there?

There are two main types of pancreatic cancer: adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas.

Cancer that begins in the pancreatic ducts is called pancreatic adenocarcinoma or exocrine cancer of the pancreas. This is the most common type.

When cancer develops in the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas (neuroendocrine cells), it is called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor or endocrine cancer of the pancreas. This is very rare.

How widespread is this cancer?

According to the New York-based Cancer Research Institute, approximately 460,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, resulting in an estimated 430,000 deaths each year.

According to some estimates, the number of new cases and deaths from pancreatic cancer will double by 2030.

Pancreatic cancer is the most dangerous cancer because 90% of patients die within two years of diagnosis. This is the only cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 10%

What are the possible symptoms?

Some of the symptoms that appear at an advanced stage include jaundice and abdominal pain. Pancreatic cancer can also affect your blood sugar, leading to diabetes or worsening of previous diabetes.

There are no specific symptoms of pancreatic cancer. The disease is said to cause some of the following symptoms Healthline the and Medical news today:

  1. loss of appetite
  2. accidental weight loss
  3. Abdominal pain, which can spread to your back
  4. back pain
  5. Blood clots (usually redness, pain and swelling in the legs)
  6. sheep
  7. Tumors of the gallbladder or liver
  8. Diabetes mellitus
  9. depression
  10. Light-colored or oily feces
  11. Diarrhea or severe diarrhea
  12. digestion
  13. black or brown urine
  14. itchy skin
  15. Dizziness and vomiting
  16. Fever and chills
  17. to be tired

Photo credit: Seyed dela Llata ​​/ Gulf News

What are the causes and risk factors?

The Mayo Clinic in the United States, citing a large study, said that a combination of smoking, diabetes and poor nutrition dramatically increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Other risk factors include:

  • Stockedo
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pancreatitis (chronic inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Family history of genetic syndromes
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • obesity
  • Aging (most people are diagnosed after the age of 65)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Diet (a diet high in red and processed meats, fried foods or sugar increases the risk)
  • Effects of certain chemicals in the workplace
  • H. pylori infection or hepatitis B

Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly?

Pancreatic cancer is the most dangerous cancer because 90% of patients die within two years of diagnosis. This is the only cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 10%. Part of this is late diagnosis. This is due to the lack of symptoms at an early stage. When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, 70 percent of people become so ill that it is too late for any treatment, says Chris MacDonald, head of research on pancreatic cancer in the UK.

At present, there are limited effective treatments for patients with advanced disease, especially those who are unable to undergo surgery. “Pancreatic cancer is more resistant to chemotherapy than other types of cancer, leaving fewer opportunities to treat the disease in its early stages,” the Cancer Research Institute said in a statement.

Can Pancreatic Cancer Be Cured?

No, the disease is often incurable. But there is a chance of cure if caught early. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, up to 10% of patients who are diagnosed early are disease-free after treatment.

“Pancreatic cancer is not a death sentence,” said Horacio Asbun, head of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at the Miami Cancer Institute, South Baptist Healthcare in Florida. “While the prognosis is not good, new treatments and approaches are being developed around the world … For the first time in a decade, we are making significant improvements in the overall duration of pancreatic cancer patients,” the United States said. – Doctor’s tent Eat it or not! Health.


Photo credit: Seyed dela Llata ​​/ Gulf News

What is the new vaccine against pancreatic cancer?

The new vaccine, called Autogene Cevumeran, is an mRNA-based individualized neoantigen-specific immunotherapy (iNeST) developed by BioNTech in collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Each IV vaccine is made with the mRNA of these proteins in that person’s tumor.

The vaccine stimulates the production of immune cells (T cells) that recognize and attack pancreatic cancer cells. Because T cells are ready to destroy cells with these proteins, the risk of cancer recurrence is reduced once the primary tumor has been surgically removed.

How is the vaccine tailored to each patient?

After the tumor is removed from the patient, genetic sequencing is performed to detect mutations in the body’s immune system that produce foreign neo-antigenic proteins. According to a report by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the vaccine was made with mRNA, which is specific to these proteins in a patient’s tumor.

Once the vaccine is given to a patient, it stimulates immune cells to make the neoantigen. Immune cells teach the rest of the immune system (including T cells) to recognize and attack tumor cells that have the same protein.

Because T cells aim to destroy cells with these proteins, the chances of cancer recurring may be lower, the report adds.

Is it a vaccine or a medicine?

The function of the vaccine is the body’s immune system to fight a specific disease. Autogene cevumeran is a vaccine because it is aimed at preventing the recurrence of pancreatic cancer. The vaccine is given after a surgical removal of a cancer or tumor of the pancreas. This is done to prevent the cancer from recurring, so it is called a vaccine.

What are the results of the Phase 1 test?

Researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, led by surgeon-scientist Vinod Balachandran, collaborated with BioNTech to develop the vaccine.

In Phase 1, 16 people were vaccinated to remove their tumors nine weeks after surgery. Eight did not have an effective immune response because the cancer had returned. But in the remaining eight, the vaccine responded well and they became cancer-free after 18 months.

The results of the test were announced at a conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago in early June.

What is the result of the vaccine?

Phase 1 testing is very rare. Extensive trials and longer periods with more people are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine. More importantly, only people with a diagnosis of cancer and early detection of tumors were included in the Phase 1 test. Chris MacDonald, head of research at the Pancreatic Cancer Charitable Foundation in the UK, said only 10% of people were diagnosed at this stage. New Scientist. So it is too early to say whether the vaccine will help people with pancreatic cancer.

The participants also received chemotherapy and a drug called atezolizumab (checkpoint inhibitor). New Scientist McDonald wrote. Some cancers prevent the immune system from attacking them, and checkpoint inhibitors block that signal, effectively releasing the natural brakes of the immune system.

Does the vaccine protect against cancer?

It is too early to tell, as extensive tests are required. The New Scientist The report states: “If some cancer cells survived combined treatment, they would be able to withstand the immune attack caused by the vaccine. This is the reason why many tumors respond to treatment at first, but then develop resistance. According to McDonald, this is a threat to every type of cancer.

When is the vaccine available?

The vaccine must undergo several tests before being approved by regulators. The pancreatic cancer vaccine has only been tested in Phase 1. More tests are needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Because the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is so low, if major tests are successful, regulators will speed up the approval process. New Scientist the report says.

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