Could Vaccines Cure Cancer? Early Trials Show Potential Application for Melanoma

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, “Scientists have developed a new vaccine that — in conjunction with existing therapies — can not only treat aggressive melanoma, but also prevent its recurrence.” The research is being performed at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, and the complete results of the latest study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

This is potentially big news for cancer research. While the studies to date have focused on cancer in mice, the scientists behind the work believe that the results have the potential to translate into humans. The results are also noteworthy because, not only did the mice who received the vaccine (in conjunction with Diprovocim treatment and immunotherapy) have a 100 percent survival rate, but they also experienced protection against recurrence. According to Medical News Today:

“The scientists found that, when they tried to reintroduce melanoma tumors in the mice in the second experimental group, ‘it wouldn’t take, as [Professor Boger, who co-led the research] puts it. ‘The animal is already vaccinated against it,’ he explains.”

Currently, the team conducting the research believes that the vaccine could be delivered in two intramuscular doses seven days apart. Now, the next step is, “to keep experimenting with th[e] vaccine and confirm whether it would be effective when delivered alongside other types of cancer therapy.”

Cancer Vaccines in Use Today

Although most people are not aware, there are already some cancer vaccines in use today. The most prevalent of these vaccines is the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause cervical and other forms of cancer, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children get vaccinated against HPV between the ages of 11 and 12 (or later if necessary):

“All kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine…. If your teen hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet, talk to their doctor or nurse about getting it for them as soon as possible.”

Additionally, hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer, and the CDC recommends a multi-dose schedule of hepatitis B vaccination for children and adults as well. There are also a number of cancer treatment vaccines (also known as “therapeutic cancer vaccines”), which doctors use on a patient-by-patient basis. These therapeutic cancer vaccines work by using immune cells from the patient’s blood to create a compound that attacks the specific antigens in the patient’s body.

Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC | Attorney for Vaccine Illnesses and Injuries

All vaccines carry certain risks. For intramuscular and subcutaneous injections in the shoulder, this includes the risk of shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a vaccine injury or illness, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more, please call (212) 800-1711 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.