February 2, 2023

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Why the cancer vaccine is still unavailable after Nobel Prize winner invented it?

Why the cancer vaccine is still unavailable after Nobel Prize winner invented it?


Why the cancer vaccine is still unavailable after Nobel Prize winner invented it?

The Nobel Prize winner invented a cancer vaccine that can treat cancer. Why hasn’t it been launched yet?


Humans have dealt with smallpox and polio for thousands of years, and finally ended with vaccines. But cancer is still raging.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 19.3 million new cancers will occur globally in 2020, and 10 million will die. Can cancer also be ended by vaccines? This may not be a fantasy.



1. The Nobel Prize winner who died of pancreatic cancer gave himself another 4 years


In 1973, Canadian scientist Ralph Steinman accidentally discovered a special cell in the mouse spleen in a mouse experiment in 1973.

As this cell membrane protrudes many dendrites similar to nerve cells, it is called dendritic cells. 


Ralph has always believed that this “special cell” can play an important role in fighting pathogens, and has been devoted to the development of dendritic cells.


Unfortunately, in 2007, Ralph was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and showed signs of bone metastasis. So he designed a series of cancer treatment plans based on dendritic cells.

In the end, he developed a brand-new vaccine and used it on himself , extending the life span of less than 6 months, and extending it by a full 4 and a half years.


Based on his contributions in the field of dendritic cell vaccines, in 2011, the Nobel Committee decided to award Ralph the honor of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

But just 4 days before the award ceremony, he failed to overcome the illness and regrettably passed away.


Ralph’s vaccine seems to be so effective, has it been marketed to benefit cancer patients?

Unfortunately, Ralph’s cancer vaccine is full of controversy in the medical field.

After he suffered from pancreatic cancer, in addition to surgery and standard chemotherapy, he tried three tumor vaccines.

Although his life span has been extended, it is The vaccine-related link has never been verified .

Therefore, the vaccine he developed has not been on the market, but the emergence of cancer vaccines has provided a new direction for cancer treatment, and the medical field has opened up a wave of cancer vaccine research.



2. Cancer Vaccine: Inject at one site, tumors will disappear throughout the body

In 2019, in a trial published in “Nature Medicine”, a team led by Professor Joshua Brody from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York found that a cancer “vaccine” was injected into a single tumor Later, all the tumors in the experiment were disappearing.


The researchers first used mice as experimental subjects. After receiving the vaccine, the tumors all over the mice quickly subsided. And within three months, 40% of the mice had no signs of tumor recurrence.


In order to test whether it has the same effect in humans, the researchers recruited 11 patients who were not sensitive to anti-PD-1 therapy.

After receiving the vaccine, three patients got better, not only shrinking the tumors being treated, but also shrinking them. The patient’s other systemic tumors.



3. How does the cancer vaccine work?

Cancer vaccines can also be divided into preventive vaccines and therapeutic vaccines. The well-known HPV vaccine is a preventive vaccine, and today we are mainly discussing therapeutic vaccines.


Strictly speaking, this cancer vaccine is not an antiviral vaccine as we know it. The reason why it is called a “vaccine” is because it enables the human immune system to drive against lymphoma cells.


Dendritic cells (DC) are an important type of immune cells in the human body and are the most powerful antigen-presenting cells known.

It can efficiently, extract, and present antigens to T and B lymphocytes, thereby activating the body’s specific immunity.


“Tumor vaccine” is to use this characteristic of dendritic cells by injecting a small molecule to condense a large number of dendritic cells near the tumor, and then let the patient receive a low dose of radiation to kill a part of the cancer cells. , So that they can stimulate the immune system to recognize “antigens”, dendritic cells will use these antigens, display them to T cells, so that they can destroy these cancer cells.



4. Are there any cancer vaccines already on the market?

Ralph Steinman’s experience has provided directions for many researchers. The development of dendritic cell vaccines is also underway, and there are already successful products on the market.


For example, Provenge is an autologous cell immunotherapy. In the United States, Provenge is the only FDA-approved prostate cancer immunotherapy made from patients’ own immune cells.


Vaccines are undoubtedly one of the most milestone inventions in human struggle against diseases.

Today, the emergence of cancer vaccines has once again become a new hope for conquering the number one enemy of mankind!

We hope that in the future, we will hear more good news about immunotherapy, and the possibility of cancer cure may no longer be a “dream”.



Why the cancer vaccine is still unavailable after Nobel Prize winner invented it?

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