Clinical

How mRNA Vaccines Can Help Fight Cancer

The mRNA vaccine has led the way for many new medically related technological advancements. This trailblazing technology is paving the path for humanity out of the pandemic, as well as opening the human eye to new ways to treat diseases. And this type of vaccine has led to new knowledge and advancements in a disease that has plagued humanity for a long time. We now know that mRNA vaccines can help in the fight against cancer. 

“The whole platform is very, very flexible,” says Norbert Pardi, a research assistant professor of infectious diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine. “You can use mRNA vaccines for many things.”

The new research shows that an mRNA vaccine could work to combat cancerous tumors. This is a new field for researchers, as vaccines have not been commonly used to treat non infectious diseases historically. However, as stated before, the new mRNA vaccines are being researched to figure out their full potential. For example, in this case they are being investigated to see if they are useful for non-infectious diseases.

However, mRNA vaccines can be used in different ways, and need to be used differently when treating an infectious virus like COVID-19, or a non-infectious illness such as cancer. 

An mRNA vaccine for an infectious disease would be used in a manner to prevent such diseases, and are used to protect people from contracting the illness. But an mRNA vaccine for cancer would be an intervention method to attack tumor cells. 

“Through their research, Pardi and others, including researchers whose work led to the development of the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, a professor of Infectious Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, an adjunct associate professor at Penn and a senior vice president at BioNTech, found that mRNA vaccines can not only prompt strong antibody responses to fight off invaders, like COVID-19, but also potent cytotoxic T cell responses,” says an article published by the University of Pennsylvania. 

These T cells have the ability to kill cancer cells. However, they do not do this normally. However, it can be done when they are altered or motivated to do it. 

“A successful therapeutic cancer vaccine should induce strong T cell responses, particularly with CD8+ T cells, which have a known capacity to kill malignant cells,” said Pardi, who is currently leading studies to better understand mRNA vaccines to treat cancers, along with other diseases. Pardi was also a postdoctoral researcher in Weissman’s lab and a frequent collaborator with him and Karikó. “Therapeutic cancer vaccines would be given to cancer patients with the hope that those vaccine-induced cytotoxic T cells would clear tumor cells.”

In reality, the inspiration for mRNA based COVID vaccines did not actually come from research in virology.

The article from the University of Pennsylvania states “In fact, the mRNA vaccine platform from BioNTech was first developed and tested in humans initially as an experimental cancer vaccine as far back as 2008, when 13 melanoma patients were vaccinated using the mRNA platform.”

This new discovery will help many people worldwide. Humans have searched for a way to fight cancer for the longest time. The mRNA vaccine has opened the door for so many new innovations to come.

The article from the University of Pennsylvania states “In fact, the mRNA vaccine platform from BioNTech was first developed and tested in humans initially as an experimental cancer vaccine as far back as 2008, when 13 melanoma patients were vaccinated using the mRNA platform.”

This new discovery will help many people worldwide. Humans have searched for a way to fight cancer for the longest time. The mRNA vaccine has opened the door for so many new innovations to come.

Source: https://scitechdaily.com/mrna-vaccines-can-help-fight-cancer-tumors-too-heres-how/

Categories: Clinical, Tech&Innovation