Turin – The drug works like a Trojan horse. With the help of immunotherapy drugs, it bypasses the body’s defenses against cancer cells and gives the immune system “instructions” on how to better recognize and fight tumors. But that’s not all the cancer vaccine can do. According to media reports, the immune memory is trained in such a way that even after years the disease is fought in case of relapses.
The vaccine was developed at the Armenise-Harvard Laboratory for Immune Regulation at the Italian Institute for Genomic Medicine in Candiolo near Turin in collaboration with the Italian-Swiss biotech company Nouscom.
A test is currently underway in the US. The first phase of 12 patients suffering from a subtype of colon cancer with disseminated metastases is nearing its end. While conventional therapy no longer worked for those affected, the new antidote led to excellent results.
More than two years after vaccination, most are doing well. There are no longer any traces of the disease in the bodies of some. In others, the cancer was significantly reduced. Only three patients failed. “The result exceeded our expectations,” explains Luigia Pace, director of the Armenise-Harvard laboratory. Now try to understand why the drug did not help all patients.
The vaccine could soon be tested in Italian hospitals. The initial assessment is carried out by the Supreme Health Institute ISS.
Chance also contributed to the extraordinary research results, as Pace admits: “We studied the immune response in Covid-19 and in mRNA vaccines against Sars-CoV-2.” The researchers focused on a certain type of T lymphocytes and their ability to attack the virus. “In the end, we thought: Why don’t we try it with tumors as well?” This meant the use of vaccination, which strengthens immunotherapy drugs and allows them to persist.
Despite the promising results, scientists are still cautious. Much more research is needed to confirm the first results. Despite everything, the study attracted worldwide attention.