Is it possible to cure cancer? The start of phase 2 of the "cancer vaccine" clinical trials of BionTech they make us hope that the answer is YES.
The famous German pharmaceutical company, responsible for the production of the Covid Pfizer vaccine, has been working for years on the creation of a vaccine intended to defeat cancer.
The first phase of the project has already been completed in 2019 (here the full news), and doctors have since had a chance to improve the definitive formula.
Pfizer vaccine trials with mRNA technology, has helped the developers tremendously, who are hoping to exploit the same element to slow the recurrence of the cancer.
Let's see what is happening and what are the chances of success of the project.
The start of a new trial
The BioNTech company was founded about 13 years ago, with the aim of developing functional cancer therapies.
The first goals were achieved in 2019, just before the pandemic intervened in the "general slowdown" of research. BioNTech was forced to focus on the vaccine, as well as many other pharmaceutical companies, trying to help the distressed population.
The elaboration of the Pfizer vaccine it has thus come down to us, bringing doctors closer to mRNA technology (which, however, they already used before).
Now that Pfizer production continues to flourish, the developers have returned to focus on the cancer problem. Phase two of the research clinical trial has officially begun, with the selection of a "candidate".
Colorectal cancer, has become the protagonist of BionNTech trials, given its high relapse rate.
The main goal of the new vaccine is to train our immune system to recognize cancer cells, so that they can attack them in time, eliminating them before they cause irreparable damage.
How "tests" will work
Dr. Scott Kopetz, professor of gastrointestinal medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is leading the phase 2 trial for testing the cancer vaccine.
Lately, he revealed a little more about the testing process and the number of participants admitted to the tests.
Kopetz manages the trial in the United States; other perpetrators follow cases in Germany, Spain and Belgium. The current number of participants it is about 200, but the idea is to increase them in the next few years.
The trail takes a long time to get a response that can be defined as "satisfactory".
Participants in the experiment will receive a vaccine injection every week for six weeks to build immune responses. After that, they will follow a biweekly schedule for about a year, with one dose every two weeks.
MRNA vaccines and the fight against cancer
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a new rapprochement with the topic of mRNA vaccines.
Many doctors had - and still have - started experiments in this regard. The hope is to use this method to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and HIV.
Many people could take advantage of it, and return to live peacefully.
These new vaccines use a molecule called Messenger RNA (or mRNA for short). MRNA strands are small bits of genetic information that "teach" the body how to behave. Specifically, they help the immune system target a specific protein by exploiting information from the genetic material.
The spike protein has been the protagonist of Covid vaccines. After the trials, who knows how many other proteins could be attacked and how many diseases finally eradicated.
In the future, a substantial number of new mRNA vaccines are expected to arrive, which will try to defeat the most annoying problems of everyday life.