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First Patients Receive Experimental Cancer Vaccine As Part Of BioNTech Trial

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First Patients Receive Experimental Cancer Vaccine As Part Of BioNTech Trial

The first patients have been injected with an experimental cancer vaccine by pharmaceutical company BioNTech as it moves to stage two of a new clinical trial.

It could be huge. Imagine if a vaccine could be developed that would stop people getting forms of cancer before it even happened?

The amount of lives saved would be incredible.

Well, according to all the evidence that they've had just yet, this vaccine is safe enough to be tested on humans, and BioNTech is wasting no time in moving to the next stage of development.

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The company will be using it alongside a medication called Libtayo and testing it on existing patients with skin cancer.

That is massive, too. If the results are positive, it would mean that some people who have been thought to be terminally ill could still stand a chance with this treatment.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Obviously, it's no good just injecting people who haven't got skin cancer with a vaccine and then waiting to see if they don't get it.

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Ethical questions aside, it wouldn't actually prove anything.

So, they've got patients who already have stage three or four melanoma and they're planning to see how they progress one they've had the inoculation.

It works along basically the same principles as the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jab that they developed.

That is to say, it's an mRNA technology that trains up your immune system to fight off the cancer.

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Your body learns to recognise a certain part of the vaccine that closely resembles the thing it wishes to fight off, and therefore develops an immune response for that exact purpose.

It's seriously smart, but don't get your hopes up about this being widely available in the very near future.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Of course, the Covid-19 vaccines were brought out as quickly as possible, but there's still a long way to go, and a lot more evidence and data to be gathered before it will become clear if this vaccine works properly.

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It's encouraging news, though.

In a statement, the co-founder of BioNTech, Özlem Türeci, said: "Our vision is to harness the power of the immune system against cancer and infectious diseases.

"We were able to demonstrate the potential of mRNA vaccines in addressing Covid-19. We must not forget that cancer is also a global health threat, even worse than the current pandemic."

Nope, no-one can forget that. Let's hope that the trials continue to progress safely and successfully.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, World News, Drugs, Technology, Cancer, Health

Tom Wood
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