Advanced melanoma: the hope of mRNA vaccines

Advanced melanoma: the hope of mRNA vaccines

The Moderna laboratory is not the only one working on this track. The German biotech BioNTech, known for its association with Pfizer for the design of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, is also engaged in the race to treat advanced melanoma thanks to personalized mRNA vaccines.

Custom mRNA

Why such enthusiasm for mRNA? Because the Covid has made it possible to give a big boost to the development of this technology which first interested specialists engaged in research against cancer, from the 1960s.

Indeed, cancer cells being our own cells, they are not recognized as abnormal by the immune system, which therefore allows them to proliferate. But the researchers found that the diseased cells had different proteins on their surface. RNA technology therefore consists in identifying, isolating and using these elements capable of activating the immune system.

In the context of cancer, mRNA actually acts like a drug because it is injected when the cancer has already appeared: it then informs the immune system of the presence of cancer cells and it activates by producing antibodies. specifically directed against the patient’s tumor. This is why vaccines in the testing phase are said to be “customized mRNA”. And that they seem, a priori, more effective.

Note: In addition to melanoma, messenger RNA therapies are also being tested in other research programs. The technology is being tested for cancers of the ovary, prostate, kidney, pancreas, etc. In France, the League Against Cancer is funding several projects using RNA technology to develop innovative treatments for lung cancer , colorectal cancer and leukemia.

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Source: Destination Health

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