Moderna cancer vaccine: NHS trials new vaccine that 'could be revolutionary' in beating illness
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Covid vaccine maker, Moderna, has developed an experimental vaccine that could help beat cancer, experts have announced. It comes after a 81-year-old man with incurable skin cancer was the first person dosed in October.
He said: “Taking part gives a sense of contributing to something which can help a lot of people.” Dr David Pinato and his team at Imperial College NHS Trust in London are testing to see if the vaccine is safe enough for a three-year global trial.
The vaccine, named mRNA-4359, is aimed at people with advanced melanoma, lung cancer and other solid tumour cancers. Once in the body, the mRNA (a genetic material) “teaches” the immune system how cancer cells differ from healthy cells and mobilises it to destroy them.
Dr Pinato hopes it will be able to treat skin and lung cancers first, then other solid tumours such as bowel or breast cancers. He said: “Research is in the early stages, but it is moving us closer to therapies that are potentially less toxic and more precise.” Moderna’s Dr Kyle Holen added: “We’re really excited about early results and hope this brings in a new age of cancer treatments.”
The trial will run for three years and between 40 and 50 patients are being recruited across the globe for the trial. The trial is known as Mobilize and will recruit patients from London, Spain, the US and Australia, although it could be expanded.
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS cancer director, said the vaccines “could be revolutionary”. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said it “has the potential to save lives while revolutionising the way we treat this terrible disease with therapies that are more effective and less toxic.”