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COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Could Be Key To Fighting Cancer

COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Could Be Key To Fighting Cancer

COVID vaccine distirbution

While a common criticism against the COVID-19 vaccines is that the research was “rushed,” the truth is that the mRNA technology that makes the vaccines effective has been under study since long before the current virus surfaced — in fact, it was already being studied for use in cancer patients.

COVID vaccine distirbution
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

Now a new study supports the use of mRNA technology in fighting liver cancer. UPI reports that researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital have successfully used mRNA to boost the body’s immune response to hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the deadliest and most common forms of liver cancer. The team says that the mRNA nanoparticles restore loss of function in a key gene that suppresses tumors.

According to PennMedicine, mRNA technology has been tested in cancer vaccines in humans since at least 2008, when a platform from BioTech was used on 13 melanoma patients, and was successful in preventing new lesions.A different version from Moderna was also tested years ago on 20 patients, and the therapy — vaccine combined with a checkpoint inhibitor — shrank tumors in 6 of those patients.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute says that scientists are hoping the massive success of the COVID-19 vaccines, which have saved uncountable lives, will help boost research for further cancer use, and that there are numerous trials going on right now testing mRNA vaccines against various types of cancer, sometimes in combination with drugs that increase the body’s immune response.

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However, as of this time the FDA has not yet approved and mRNA treatments for use against cancer.

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