Cancer Vaccine in the Works

Cancer

A new cancer vaccine is in the works which may stop the disease in its tracks, scientists say. Research findings on the newly-developed vaccine have been published in The Journal of Gene Therapy this week.

Research on the new vaccine that may put an end to cancer has been produced by the Cincinnati Cancer Center and University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute.  The research is being led by John Morris, MD who is the clinical co-leader of molecular therapies and diagnostics at the Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC).  Morris, along with a team of medical researchers, has been working to create this vaccine, which has had shocking results that may change the way the world treats cancer.

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, where the research has been conducted, also completes research on multiple different types of cancer, including brain tumors, breast, gastrointestinal, lung, head, and neck cancers.  The university’s center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) is decorated with the Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award.  The university has a comprehensive approach to its research and works within departments to collaborate on finding ways to prevent and reduce several types of cancer.

The team of researchers at the CCC that are working on a vaccine to slow and stop cancer cells from growing are doing this by means of the body’s immune system to fight the disease.  The team has been working with cancerous tumors that produce a protein called Human Interleukin, or IL-15 which works to illicit a cell-killing action in the immune system, thus reducing cancer cells.  The cancer-fighting vaccine has been created with the protein IL-15, as well as it’s protein receptor IL-15 alpha.  The combination of the two, which are genetically modified tumor cells, work together to help signal the immune system to kill the cancerous cells.  The vaccine does this due to the way that the IL-15 and IL-15 alpha work together to enhance the creation and secretion on the cell of IL-15.

So far this cancer vaccine is still in the works, currently in its testing phase, but it is having much success.  Researchers working on this groundbreaking cancer treatment have been giving the vaccine to mice with cancer with positive results.  When injected into affected mice the cell growth of the cancerous tumors significantly slowed and the rates of survival in the mice increased.

There are currently a few cancer vaccines already on the market to reduce cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  These vaccines help prevent cancer caused by viruses.  One of the vaccines, Gardasil, works to prevent the human papiloma virus or HPV, that is linked to causing cervical, anal, and throat cancers.  Another type of vaccination, the Hepatitis B vaccine, can help lower the risk of liver cancer, as contracting the virus can put people at higher risk of developing it.

There is also a vaccine that works to treat cancer by engaging the body’s immune system much like the new vaccine currently in the works.  As of now, only one vaccine like this is approved by the FDA, Sipuleucel-T.  This vaccination, which is created using the patient’s own cells, works to help stop the growth of prostate cancer cells.

The new vaccine has since been approved for human clinical trials in attempts to accrue more data and continue the process of turning this vaccine into a viable cancer-reducing drug.  The clinical trials will be for patients suffering from melanoma, a specific types of skin cancer, as well as renal cancer, which affects the kidneys.  With this cancer vaccine in the works, scientists may be closer to finding a cure.

By Allison Longstreet

Sources:

American Cancer Society

Science Codex

University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute

UPI

WKRC Cincinnati

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