Might we be one step closer to curing cancer?
Cancer kills millions of people around the world each year, and in 2016, it’s estimated that some 595,690 Americans will die of the disease. Chances are you know somebody who has, has had, or has passed away from cancer, or that you know somebody who will develop the disease in their lifetime.
For years, researchers and scientists have worked tirelessly at developing a cure for cancer, which can affect humans in more than 100 various types. Among the newest and most hopeful of these is a vaccine, which one hospital began testing on patients very recently.
Learn more about how the vaccine works as well as one of the first women to try it.
Therapeutic cancer vaccines, ones used to treat patients that already have cancer, are already being developed for breast, lung, colon, prostate, and other cancers.
In the past 10 years alone, several of these vaccines such as BiovaxID and Provenge have been proven to be very effective, in some cases prolonging remission by over 44 months and increasing survival rates.
A new vaccine-based treatment was just administered to patients at London’s Guy’s Hospital for the first time in February, and its success could mean less harsh surgery and chemotherapy for some cancer patients.
One of the biggest problems people suffering from cancer, as well as many autoimmune diseases, face is their body’s unwillingness to attack its own cells, even when they are sick or mutated.
This new vaccine, however, gives a kickstart to the body’s immune system by helping it differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells. It does this by introducing the mutated enzyme hTERT into the body with hopes that the body will recognize this enzyme as a threat and then continuing killing cancerous cells that contain hTERT.