Groundbreaking cancer vaccine using Covid jab science could prevent tumors from growing back after surgery

BREAKTHROUGH cancer vaccine using Covid jab science could prevent tumors from growing back after surgery

The way Pfizer’s jab works could also be used to stimulate tumor-destroying immune cells, boffins say.

In a world first trial by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, half of the patients were still cancer-free 18 months after their surgery.

The nine-dose vaccine uses technology called mRNA that injects genetic code to make immune cells that target cancer cells.

In the trial, the vaccine triggered an immune response in eight of 16 pancreatic cancer patients, scientists at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference revealed.

Their bodies produced deadly white blood cells that kept cancer relapses at bay for more than 18 months.

Cancer grew back in six out of eight patients whose shots didn’t work, with an average relapse time of 13.4 months.

Scientists don’t know why the vaccine only worked half way, but hope they can increase the success rate for all surgery patients – to one in five cases.

The mRNA – messenger ribonucleic acid – is made in labs to allow the body to attack mutant cells that usually slip under the radar and proliferate.

The code tells the body to make proteins that are the building blocks of the body.

Study author Dr. Vinod Balachandran said: “These mRNA vaccines appear to stimulate immune responses. We are very excited.”

dr. Chris MacDonald, from Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “It’s really exciting to see this progress in a cancer that has been under-treated for so long.

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“This is a very early, small-scale trial, but the results are certainly promising. We urgently need more treatment options for pancreatic cancer.

“A vaccine like this would be an essential weapon against the deadliest common cancer.”

About 10,500 Britons get pancreatic cancer every year.

Treatment almost always fails.

Three in four patients die within a year.

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