Oxford Combined cancer vaccine is ready for human trials
A team from the University of Oxford used a successfully proven viral vector from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from COVID-19 to create a new type of vaccine – this time against cancer. It has successfully passed tests on mice and testing of the drug on humans will begin before the end of this year. We are talking about a combination of a vaccine and immunotherapy, which “restarts” the immune system and actually activates the hunt for cancer cells. In theory, the immune system would easily deal with cancer cells, but those have many masking mechanisms. Immunotherapy allows you to disable the “control points”, neutralize some of these mechanisms and re-incite immune cells to cancer cells. However, these hunters are always too few, so scientists with the help of a new vaccine decided to spur the growth of their number.
The object of interest was CD8 + T cells that target the MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1 proteins. The MAGE category proteins appear only on the surface of cancer cells and never on normal tissue, which makes the use of this method safe. More importantly, MAGE proteins are inherent in a wide range of tumors, so we can talk about a mass attack on foreign tissues in the body. Some people may have dozens of different types of cancer in their body at the same time, and this method of treatment will be a salvation for them. In experiments on mice, the introduction of the vaccine, as expected, significantly increased the level of CD8 + T cells. Immunotherapy made them “aggressive” and turned off the masking of cancer cells – their extermination went with unprecedented pressure. As a result, if in the control group all rodents died by the 30th day, then among those who received treatment on the 50th day, all were alive and practically healthy. Currently, the first 80 patients have already been selected from among the people who will become participants in the next stage of the trial.