Personalized Cancer Vaccines Show Promise

COVID vaccines aren’t the only vaccines making headlines. Thanks to a recent study published in Nature Medicine, personalized neoantigen vaccines are getting a lot of attention.

The study followed up on a group of 8 cancer patients with surgically resected stage III or IV melanoma. All patients had received the NeoVax vaccine treatment four years prior. The limited findings could be the start of something bigger.

What Is a “Personalized Cancer Vaccine”?

Cancer vaccines are not new. They have been around for years. It is the act of personalizing the vaccine for each patient that is novel.

Personal neoantigen vaccines are created using samples of the patient’s removed tumor. This targeted approach allows the vaccine to better train T cells to recognize and destroy cells from that specific tumor.

Findings Are Inconclusive but Promising

A study with just 8 participants doesn’t provide enough data make strong conclusions. It did show signs of what scientists were hoping for.

Of the 8 participants, all are still alive. Six showed no evidence of active disease. That is very good.

With additional testing and a large clinical trial, researchers believe that personal cancer vaccines will be a treatment option within the next few years.