Immunologists at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina have begun testing a vaccine that can force the immune system to destroy uncontrollably multiplying cells, reports the Daily Mail.
The vaccine was created on the basis of mRNA technology, which was almost not used before the pandemic, although it was developed several decades ago, but with the advent of covid, it began to be actively introduced due to the relative ease of development and production. When scientists first announced plans to develop anti-covid vaccines based on this technology, experts predicted a 50% effectiveness. However, the result exceeded expectations by almost half. Now they are trying to introduce the technology when creating vaccines against a variety of diseases. For example, Moderna will soon begin testing an mRNA flu shot and even an mRNA vaccine against HIV.
Immunologists at Duke University are testing an mRNA vaccine for breast cancer. Now the second stage of clinical trials involving 39 women is underway, the results are expected this year. They will allow you to understand whether the vaccine is effective and, if so, whether it helps prevention or treatment.
Unlike covid, cancer is not caused by a virus, but by uncontrolled cell division as a result of mutations. Compared to healthy cells, cancer cells may have a specific antigen on their surface. If the immune system is exposed to this antigen, there is a chance that the body will learn to detect and kill cancer cells, stopping the disease. A number of scientists are skeptical about this idea: the cancer vaccine may be useless because the immune system of cancer patients is usually severely weakened. In addition, in some types of cancer, mutated cells look no different from healthy ones.