A group of researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London have carried out the first trials of a promising new vaccine against cancer of the lung, intestine and pancreas. The results of their research were presented at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium which was held virtually in Barcelona on October 24-25, according to the Diario Libre portal.
The drug targets in particular mutations in the KRAS gene, linked to the development of many types of cancer, including those of the lung, intestine and pancreas.
“We know that if the KRAS gene goes awry, it allows cells in our body to start multiplying and turning into cancer cells,” said study author Dr Rachel Ambler.
After learning that the immune system was able to slow down this process, the specialists wanted to create a vaccine that could not only treat cancer, but also offer long-lasting protection against this disease.
Used as a treatment on mice with pre-existing cancer, the vaccine slowed their growth, Dr Ambler explained. At the same time, when the drug was used as a preventative measure, no cancer “had developed in the mice for quite a long time, and in many cases the cancers never did.”
“This research still has a long way to go, but our results suggest that the design of this vaccine created a strong response in mice with very few side effects,” Dr. Ambler said.