What is some recent research on cancer

How mRNA could also help heal cancer

Research for cancer immunotherapy

Cancer research has been dealing with the for 20 years messenger RNA or short: mRNA-Technology and has been making ever greater advances in the field of cancer immunotherapy in recent years. The technology should help to recognize and destroy the malignant cells. The challenge in the fight against cancer is much greater than in the vaccination against a virus.

Cancer cells are different in every cancer patient. There is no such thing as one enemy or one virus. That is why research and implementation are more demanding. The research teams aim to develop an individual mRNA therapy for each patient. That makes the production much more complicated. That is why most research teams would like to develop an individual mRNA cancer therapy for each patient in the future.

How can an individual cancer vaccination be developed for each patient?

To do this, the research teams analyze cancer cells from patients and then develop a tailor-made mRNA therapy. To do this, they look for typical proteins that can reveal cancer cells. Cancer cells are quite noticeable compared to healthy cells. The challenge is: the body, the immune system, does not recognize these cells by itself. The cancer cells are therefore not fought and can spread. Once the research team has deciphered the cancer cells, they put the cell information into the mRNA - as a blueprint, so to speak. Then small pieces of protein are produced from these cancer cells and inoculated. The body then recognizes the cells as foreign and fights them.

If everything goes according to plan, the body makes its own cancer proteins. They are not dangerous, just an identification tag for the harmful cancer cells so that the immune system can recognize what is a cancer cell and what is a good cell. The corresponding immune response then comes from the cancer cell.

Can cancer research benefit from the corona pandemic?

At first it was the other way around. During the corona pandemic, it was possible to benefit a lot from the experience gained in cancer research. Otherwise the vaccine would not have been developed so quickly. The vaccine was ready within a few weeks after the virus's genome was deciphered. It then only had to be clinically tested. We benefited greatly from cancer research during the pandemic. In the same way, we will now benefit from the pandemic in retrospect. At least that's the hope. There is already a little optimism.

Researchers now have a lot of data that they could not collect so quickly. You now know more about the tolerability and side effects of mRNA vaccines. That helps a lot.

When could the first mRNA vaccines against cancer be approved?

The responsible Paul Ehrlich Institute expects that the first approval for mRNA vaccines against cancer will be granted in Germany in five years at the earliest. 17 clinical studies against lung, prostate or skin cancer are currently being carried out. So very special types of cancer. But they are now more optimistic because they have some data on the side effects and tolerability. Now it remains to be seen how quickly a vaccine against cancer can be developed.