Makers of Covid vaccines are achieving success with cancer vaccines, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Moderna, the maker of Covid vaccines, is now reporting success with a vaccine for the skin cancer melanoma. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson says these are made for individual patients using markers that are specific for their tumor.

Nelson: That becomes a vaccine, so it’s innately individualized. They administer this along with pembrolizumab which should heighten the response to the vaccine. They did a randomized trial of the vaccine with pembrolizumab versus pembrolizumab alone, really against very advanced melanoma that was none-the-less completely resected, which means it has a high chance to recur. They reduced the risk of recurrence or death by about 44% by adding the vaccine. This is an interesting notion, very personalized, it’s clearly scalable they were able to do this in a reasonable sized clinical trial.   :33

Nelson notes that expanding this strategy to other types of cancers will face a number of hurdles, however. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.