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  • 23 Jun, 2024

Progress on a cancer vaccine is disclosed by the Russian health minister.

Progress on a cancer vaccine is disclosed by the Russian health minister.

Mikhail Murashko has stated that the results of preclinical trials should be available by the end of the year.

Russian researchers are nearing the completion of trials for a cancer vaccine, as Health Minister Mikhail Murashko disclosed on Saturday.

According to Murashko, the vaccine has been collaboratively developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Blokhin Cancer Center, and the Hertsen Oncological Research Institute.

“This is an immunotherapy drug for cancer. It was developed through the collaboration of multiple scientific teams... and is state-funded. The vaccine is currently undergoing preclinical trials, and we anticipate initial results by year-end, followed by clinical testing,” Murashko told TASS during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

In an interview with Gazeta.ru last week, Aleksandr Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya Institute, described the new drug as a therapeutic vaccine, intended for individuals already diagnosed with cancer. It leverages mRNA technology, previously utilized by Pfizer and Moderna in their Covid-19 vaccines. Gintsburg noted its versatility, stating that the vaccine can be tailored for any type of cancer.

The technology enables the creation of a high concentration of the target antigen within cells, explained Gintsburg, aiding the immune system in distinguishing between healthy and malignant cells.

Cancer ranks among the leading causes of death globally, with Russia and other countries grappling with its impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported approximately 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths in 2022 alone. WHO estimates suggest that one in five individuals worldwide will develop cancer during their lifetime, with one in nine men and one in 12 women succumbing to the disease.

Efforts to combat cancer are widespread, with the UK initiating clinical trials for a cancer vaccine in May. The National Health Service (NHS) has enrolled numerous patients in a program aimed at personalized cancer treatments, with the potential for long-term remission. Although still in early stages, trial outcomes indicate the drug's efficacy in eliminating residual tumor cells post-surgery and reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.