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expert reaction to phase III clinical trial of melanoma mRNA vaccine recruiting its first patients at UCLH

Scientists react to a clinical trial of melanoma mRNA vaccines. 


Prof Lawrence Young, Professor of Molecular Oncology, University of Warwick, said:

“This is one of the most exciting developments in modern cancer therapy. Combining a personalised cancer vaccine to boost a specific immune response to the patient’s tumour along with using an antibody to release the brake on the body’s immune response has already shown great promise in patients whose original skin cancer (melanoma) has been removed. In an early clinical trial, this approach reduced the rate of tumour recurrence or death as compared to using the antibody alone. This new clinical study is part of a worldwide trial to assess more fully the efficacy of this combination immunotherapy in treating a large number of patients with melanoma who are at high risk of recurrence after their original tumour has been removed. Interest in cancer vaccines has been reignited in recent years by a deeper understanding of how the body controls immune responses and by the advent of mRNA vaccines which makes developing a vaccine based on the immune profile of a patient’s own tumour much more straightforward. The hope is that this approach could be extended to other cancers such those of the lung and colon.”



Declared interests

Prof Lawrence Young: No conflicts.

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