AstraZeneca makes a breakthrough with the announcement that an Oxford team would test a “revolutionary” cancer vaccine on humans.
THE RESEARCH TEAM behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccination has discovered a new vaccine that has the potential to “revolutionize” cancer treatment, according to animal testing.
The new vaccination shrank tumors in animal trials, showing greater survival rates than a different type of therapy that turns a person’s immune system against their malignancy. A human experiment is now in the works, with 80 patients expected to participate. Non-small cell lung cancer is the same sort of cancer that all of the patients have. However, the researchers believe that in the future, the technology could be utilized to treat a variety of cancers. The vaccine’s technology, known as “viral vector,” was also employed in the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab.
Viral vector technique transports a bit of genetic information into a person’s cells using a harmless virus.
The genetic information in this vaccination then instructs the body to respond to MAGE proteins, which are molecules found on the surface of cancer cells.
The goal is to boost the body’s defenses so that cancer cells can be attacked.
T cells are a type of immune cell that can be found throughout the body.
The increase to T cells allowed another type of treatment, anti-PD immunotherapy, to destroy cancer cells in the mice in the trials.
Other cancer treatments rarely produce a large number of anti-tumour T cells in humans, but the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is meant to achieve just that, and that is what could set it apart.
This cancer vaccine, like the coronavirus vaccine, is divided into two parts, one of which uses the same virus as Oxford’s Covid vaccine.
“This innovative vaccination platform has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment,” said Professor Adrian Hill, director of the university’s Jenner Institute.
He also mentioned that the future trial will follow a successful Oxford trial of a similar vaccine in prostate cancer patients.
“We knew that MAGE-type proteins operate like red flags on the surface of cancer cells to attract immune cells that eliminate tumors,” said Benoit Van den Eynde, professor of tumour immunology at the University of Oxford.
“MAGE proteins have an advantage over other cancer antigens in that they can be found on a variety of tumor types.
“Brinkwire Summary News” says, “This broadens the potential value of this method to people.”