Can an mRNA vaccine help fight pancreas cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Pancreas cancer is deadly, but now a vaccine using mRNA technology may improve the odds. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson describes a new study.

Nelson: What they've done here is they use the information that you can collect by examining the defective genes in a cancer, particularly the gene defects that are the blueprints for mutant proteins and they've used it to produce an mRNA vaccine, it's individualized, it has the specific mutations for an individual, they tested this in the setting of treatment for pancreatic cancer. They give that along with an immune checkpoint inhibitor so you take the brakes off the immune system as they see the vaccine.   :30

Nelson notes that this vaccine followed surgical resection of the tumor, and that he would advocate for some method of much earlier detection of pancreas tumors to improve survival. Such methods are currently being developed, he says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.