To learn more about cancer, you can visit our "Cancer" article and find information about cancer and cancer treatment.
In this article, we will talk about cancer vaccines produced to support cancer treatment.
Cancer vaccines are a form of immunotherapy that aims to prevent or treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. There are two main types of cancer vaccines: prophylactic and therapeutic.
Prophylactic Cancer Vaccines
It has been known since the early 1900s that viruses cause cancer. According to the latest reports published by the World Health Organization, 15 percent of cancers in the world are caused by viruses. Most viral cancers occur in underdeveloped and developing countries. The reason for this is that vaccination programs are not carried out regularly and the necessary hygiene conditions are not fulfilled. Prophylactic cancer vaccines are designed to prevent the development of cancer in healthy individuals. They target viruses or other infectious agents that can cause cancer. Currently, there are two prophylactic cancer vaccines available:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: This vaccine prevents infection by certain types of HPV, which are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers.
- Hepatitis B vaccine: This vaccine prevents infection by the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver cancer.
Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines
Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines are vaccines intended to treat rather than prevent. One of the basic working principles of cancer vaccines developed for treatment is the elimination of cancer cells by using "viruses". The viruses used in the development of these vaccines are called oncolytic viruses. These viruses only target the cancer cell and destroy them. The virus, which has been manipulated by genetic techniques, does not cause any harm when it enters the normal cell. Several therapeutic cancer vaccines are currently in development or undergoing clinical trials. Examples include:
- Sipuleucel-T (Provenge): This vaccine is approved for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. It uses a patient's own immune cells, which are collected, exposed to a protein that stimulates an immune response, and then reinfused into the patient.
- Neoantigen Vaccines: These personalized vaccines are created by identifying tumor-specific mutations, called neoantigens, in a patient's cancer cells. The vaccine is then designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cells displaying these neoantigens.
Ongoing Research and Future Directions
Cancer treatment has come a long way, with targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and cancer vaccines offering new hope for patients. However, there is still much work to be done. Ongoing research efforts include:
- Investigating combination therapies to improve treatment outcomes, such as combining targeted therapies with immunotherapies.
- Reducing the damage caused by traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy and developing less toxic cancer treatments.
- Identifying new biomarkers and developing precision medicine approaches to tailor treatments to individual patients.
As our understanding of cancer biology and the immune system continues to grow, the potential for more effective and personalized cancer treatments, including cancer vaccines, is promising. The hope is that these advancements will ultimately lead to a world where cancer is no longer a leading cause of death. It is very sad to know that it was Covid-19 that enabled this. Researchers state that 15 years of progress has been achieved for vaccine in 12 to 18 months, thanks to the success of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The company Moderna stated that the vaccine they are working on for cancer, heart and immune system diseases could be ready by 2030.
In the statements made by scientists, he said that they predict that by 2030, there will be a vaccine for all kinds of incurable conditions and that they will save hundreds of thousands of lives, if not millions.
In addition, after underlining how important motivation is in cancer treatments, let's also point out that these vaccines will give people great hope and increase the rates of treatment success.