Cancer vaccine research?

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 elliot.baker 19 Feb 2021

https://news.sky.com/story/amp/breakthrough-mrna-vaccine-developed-for-cancer-immunotherapy-by-chinese-scientists-12220758
 

Saw this yesterday - can any of the wise people on here comment on it? Is it a huge leap forward or just normal research progress?

Sat there last night thinking can you imagine if in a few years time we’re vaccinating everyone for lung cancer and thinking how COVID gave us that knowledge indirectly. 

 DaveHK 19 Feb 2021
In reply to elliot.baker:

It's a therapy rather than a vaccine though is it not? It might be used to treat people with cancer rather than preventing people from getting it. Immunotherapy has been around for a while but maybe the mechanism of this is new.

Post edited at 08:24
 Richard J 19 Feb 2021
In reply to elliot.baker:

It's normal research progress - and normal bad reporting, since it doesn't say in the report that it's just in mice.

It's the other way round when it comes to COVID - the reason Moderna and BioNTech could come up with a COVID vaccine using mRNA very quickly was that they'd been researching cancer immunotherapy, and it was that technology that was adapted for COVID rather than the other way round.

You wouldn't be able to vaccinate people against lung cancer - the idea is that when people have got lung cancer, you stimulate their own immune system to fight the cancer cells.  But it has to be personalised against the individual line of cells in question.  It's an exciting possibility being researched in many places across the world, though with quite a few barriers to success yet to be overcome.  The report here is about a very specific way of delivering the mRNA to cells.

 wintertree 19 Feb 2021
In reply to elliot.baker:

The immune based cancer therapies out there work by giving a specific individual’s immune system a specific kick to target their specific cancer.  

With the exception of the one transmitted by biting (thankfully contained to Tasmanian devils), I think each cancer is a unique genetic product of its victim’s body, and there are many different general types that can arrive.  So, it’s very hard to pre-train immune systems for “cancer”.  What we will one day be able to do affordable for everyone is to help their immune systems against their specific cancers; and the monkey going in to some of the vaccine technology for covid will bring that day closer I think.

I think the indirect benefits of the money, time and talent thrown at covid are going to be very widespread however.  In terms of cancer reduction, covid is a clear warning shot that we’ve normalised far to much physical unhealthiness across society and that we should take pre emptive public health much more seriously.  If a fraction of the resources go in to that that are now going in to vaccines and therapeutics for covid, I think it would have a big impact on cancer - eventually - as the results work their way through the population.  Conversely, I think the realities of the last year have indirectly worsened a lot of physical health  quite separate to covid.

 jkarran 19 Feb 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> What we will one day be able to do affordable for everyone is to help their immune systems against their specific cancers; and the monkey going in to some of the vaccine technology for covid will bring that day closer I think.

Slip of the keyboard or reference to the chimp adenovirus carrying Oxford's work?

jk

 wintertree 19 Feb 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> Slip of the keyboard or reference to the chimp adenovirus carrying Oxford's work?

The usual keyboard ineptitude and inability to read what I actually wrote not what I meant...

 jkarran 19 Feb 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Happens. That's why so many of my posts contain duplicate words and orphaned bits of sentence in the middle of others, I just don't see them.

jk

 gethin_allen 19 Feb 2021
In reply to elliot.baker:

Many cervical cancers are caused by Herpes simplex virus infection and there is good evidence to associate HSV with throat cancers.

There is already a vaccination program for young women to reduce cervical cancers but this has not yet been extended to men to deal with other HSV associated cancers.

Considering this, it's reasonable to assume that other viruses my cause other cancers that are currently thought to be caused entirely by patient specific conditions and worth researching. I very much doubt I'm the first to think about this and I haven't searched the literature, so there's probably many clever people looking into it.

 DaveHK 19 Feb 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

> There is already a vaccination program for young women to reduce cervical cancers but this has not yet been extended to men to deal with other HSV associated cancers.

Boys in Scotland at least are now offered it at the same time as girls.

In reply to wintertree:

> With the exception of the one transmitted by biting (thankfully contained to Tasmanian devils), 

 

I can avoid being bitten by another person normally, one that is transmitted by sexual contact might be worse!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_transmissible_venereal_tumor

 gethin_allen 19 Feb 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

That's good news.

 DaveHK 19 Feb 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

Here's how I found out about boys getting the HPV vaccine...

I'm a teacher and when the girls are getting their HPV vaccine there's always a boy who asks why they aren't getting it.  'Because you haven't got a cervix'* has been my stock response for a few years now.  Last year one of my class responded 'My wee brother must have a cervix then because he's getting the vaccine!'. That'll teach me to be a smart arse.  

It's only in the last year or two and I don't think it's been pushed as much as for girls.

*This is just to deflect the ones that are asking to try to get a rise out of the teacher, I explain it properly if needed!


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