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June 22, 2012
Cancer is one of the most serious and dangerous diseases of our times, which every year takes lives of millions of people around the globe. Unfortunately, there is still no cure or very effective treatment for cancer, and a great deal of scientists are working very hard trying to develop a good technology and give hope to all those who are currently suffering from this health condition. The news about finding a vaccine for cancer or a new cancer treatment appear from time to time in modern mass media, however, still there are no proper results and guaranteed treatments. A group of oncology scientists at Tel Aviv University reported this spring that they managed to create a new cancer vaccine which helps cancer patients’ bodies detect and kill tumors.
The unique cancer vaccine is developed by Israeli scientists in cooperation with the experts by drug company Vaxil Biotheraputics and can target a certain molecule found in over 90 per cent of tumors. This vaccine should be injected and can allow the immune system of a patient find and fight off many types of cancer, including the most common ones, breast cancer and prostate cancer. According to the preliminary results, this unique anti-cancer injection can work great to stimulate the immune system of patients with cancer and substantially lower the levels of this serious health condition. However, as the scientists underline, more extensive and large clinical tries are required to prove the effectiveness of this new cancer treatment for a variety of other cancer types.
Usually, the immune system of cancer patients does not recognize cancer cells as a threat, that is why it does not fight against them and lets tumors grow and develop. That happens because cancer cells are formed from own cells of the patient and the immune system does not take those as foreign cells or invasions. However, using this new cancer vaccine can help recognize and start killing cancer cells in time. During the early experiments it became apparent that a MUC1 molecule commonly found on the surfaces of cancer tumors can be a target for the immune system to detect cancer cells and destroy them. And this new cancer treatment is based on identifying this molecule and destroying tumors.
As the report about this study states, the scientists “generated a robust and specific immune response in all patients which was observed after only 2-4 doses of the vaccine out of a maximum of 12 doses.” Currently, a number of clinical trials are going on to test this amazing promising cancer vaccine. In particular, a team of experts at the Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK are working with a group of volunteers with prostate cancer to see the effects of new treatment for cancer, and a team of American scientists of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio are analyzing the effects of this cancer vaccine on a group of women aged over 40 with breast cancer. A high clinical efficiency is expected, but still a lot of work should be done to show total safety of the new treatment and make it available to all cancer patients.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.