‘Game-changing’ melanoma skin cancer vaccine trial shows promising results
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and one of the most aggressive. With the rate of melanoma diagnoses increasing in recent years, there is a need to discover effective treatments to control the disease. In this sense, one of the most recent immunotherapeutic strategies for cancer treatment is the use of cancer vaccines to enhance cell-mediated immunity. mRNA vaccines are the latest in cancer vaccine capabilities, with a focus on their use as modern therapeutics. The rapid production and low cost of mRNA cancer vaccine production are advantages. mRNA-based vaccines can induce both humoral and cellular immune responses.
The candidate, called mRNA-4157/V940, is a personalized mRNA therapy tailored to the patient’s tumor neoplasm. The strategy is a departure from cancer vaccines that failed in the 2010s. The companies hope to improve outcomes by studying patients’ tumors, finding mRNAs they can stimulate. immune response and encapsulate molecules in lipid nanoparticles.
Merck and Moderna have provided clinical data showing that this strategy is effective. The open-label phase 2b trial enrolled 157 patients with stage 3 or 4 melanoma to receive mRNA-4157 and Keytruda or checkpoint inhibitor alone after complete resection.
When compared with Keytruda alone, the addition of mRNA-4157 reduced the risk of relapse or death by 44%. The discovery, hailed by the researchers as the first demonstration of the effectiveness of an mRNA cancer treatment in a randomized clinical trial, paved the way for the study to progress to phase 3 and open the door. extend to other tumors.
In one trial, patients using this combination had a 44% lower risk of relapse or death compared with patients using Keytruda alone.
“Today’s results are quite encouraging for the field of cancer therapy; mRNA has been shown to be transformative for COVID-19, and now, for the first time, we have demonstrated the ability to do so. mRNA may influence outcomes in a randomized clinical trial in melanoma,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release.
Moderna has created one of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines.
“This study is the first randomized trial to show that combining mRNA vaccination with an immune-response-boosting drug can result in better outcomes for patients with melanoma, could be other cancers,” Reuters reported. According to the Wall Street Journal, businesses will conduct more studies next year to further confirm the combination’s safety and effectiveness. The successful study results may pave the way for regulatory approval of Moderna’s experimental cancer vaccine, the journal notes.
Moderna and Merck plan to test this combination in additional tumors. “We will begin additional studies on melanoma and other forms of cancer to deliver cancer treatments that are truly tailored to the individual patient,” Bancel said. “We look forward to publishing the full dataset and sharing the results at an upcoming medical conference on cancer, as well as with health authorities.”
The new study studied 157 patients with stage III and IV melanoma. Their melanomas were surgically removed before being treated with combos or Keytruda alone.
It can be concluded that, in addition to the numerous benefits of mRNA vaccines in cancer treatment, their use is fraught with complications. Therefore, extensive knowledge of mRNA vaccines is required before they can be used to treat cancer, as well as a large number of experiments before vaccines prevent disease recurrence. This multiple myeloma is released to the public.