Cancer may have vaccine with technology used against covid-19 by 2030, says researcher

RIVER – vaccines against some types of cancer may be available by the end of the decade, according to the couple of scientists responsible for creating one of the most effective immunizers against Covid-19 developed during the pandemic.

Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci are co-founders of BioNTech, the German laboratory that, in partnership with Pfizer, created a revolutionary vaccine against covid-19 based on messenger RNA. The same innovative technology is being researched to create immunizations against some types of cancer.

In an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg last Sunday, Professor Ozlem Tureci told how the messenger RNA technology used in the Covid-19 vaccine can be redirected to induce the immune system to attack cancer cells (instead of invading coronaviruses). ). When asked when a cancer vaccine could hit the market, Ugur Sahin stated: “Before 2030.”

Vaccines, such as the one used against the influenza virus, may prevent some forms of cancer.
Vaccines, such as the one used against the influenza virus, may prevent some forms of cancer. Photograph: Tiago Queiroz / Estadão

Bowel cancers and melanomas are the targets

The German company works on the development of vaccines against cancer of the intestine and melanomas, between others. But there is still a long way to go, full of challenges, they said. The cancer cells that form tumors are composed of a wide variety of proteins, which makes it very difficult to create an immunizer that targets only the altered cells and not healthy tissue.

Traditionally, vaccines are made with the very pathogen they are intended to fight, in weakened or inactivated forms. In this way, the immune system is trained to recognize the invader and fight the infection when it actually happens. This technology has been used successfully for decades to fight measles and polio, among many other diseases.

The new technology, completed during the covid-19 pandemic, consists of using microfragments of genetic material (in this case, mRNA) synthesized in the laboratory. In nature, mRNA translates instructions written in DNA and delivers them to protein producers within cells.

The new vaccines use synthetic mRNA to carry instructions on how to make the coronavirus spike protein. When the protein is produced by cells based on the instructions sent, it “trains” the immune system to recognize and fight it. That is, instead of taking fragments of the pathogen itself into the body, the new vaccines carry the instructions for their production.

The effectiveness of these new immunizations against covid-19 proved to be over 95% even in the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. In addition, as it is a material synthesized in the laboratory, its production is much simpler than that of traditional vaccines. For all this, the new technology marked, in the opinion of experts, a new era in the manufacture of immunizations, opening the way for unprecedented therapies against cancer and heart problems.

The same technology can be used to stimulate the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells, the researchers explained. Instead of carrying instructions for producing a fragment of the virus, the immunizer contains genetic instructions for creating cancer antigens – proteins present on the surface of tumor cells. The big challenge is the huge variety of proteins.

BioNTech was already working on developing messenger RNA-based cancer vaccines before the pandemic, but ended up prioritizing Covid-19 immunizers in the face of the global emergency. Research has continued and the company currently has several cancer vaccines in clinical trial.

According to the experts told in the BBC interview, the development of vaccines against Covid, (both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) contributed a lot to the work that was already being done against cancer. The work helped scientists produce vaccines on a large scale and better understand how the immune system responds to mRNA.

“This will definitely accelerate our work on the cancer vaccine,” said Ozlem Tureci.

Still, the researcher remains cautious. “As scientists, we are always hesitant to say that we have a cure for cancer,” she said. “We have a number of important discoveries and we will continue to work on them.”

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Does referring friends help to increase your Nubank limit?

The limit increase at Nubank is influenced by several issues and also by the good …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *