SCIENTISTS in Spain claim to have created a ‘vaccine’ against cancer that believe could work.
Researchers from the Gregorio Marañon Hospital and from the Clinica Universidad de Navarra say they have proved there is a molecule that could activate the body’s defences against melanoma and fight against tumours.
New company BioncoTech has now turned the discovery into a drug which could save the life of skin cancer patients who do not respond to traditional immunotherapy.
Ivan Marquez Rodas, medical oncologist of Gregorio Marañon, said: “We know that between 30 and 40 per cent of patients do not respond to drugs nivolumab or pembrolizumab, those that activate anti-PD1 antibodies, which have the best effects against cancer cells.”
He explained this new drug works differently by creating immunity within a patient’s body so that it defends against a tumour. Dr Marañon added, “We have observed that it does not produce serious side effects.”
During a study, 28 patients with solid tumours were treated with the drug, to test for safety and effectiveness. The medication was able to control cancers in 58 per cent of cases, reducing tumour size in 17 per cent of patients.