Malignant melanoma is a serious variety of skin cancer. Photo: illustrative image.
A Phase II investigational melanoma vaccine brought “promising” results as it “managed to delay or prevent metastasis to distant organs significantly superior” compared to another drug used in patients with melanoma, a cancer that causes 600 deaths per yearaccording to researchers at Sales Foundation and Conicet.
The vaccines, developed by both institutions, “seek to train immune cells to recognize and eliminate the tumor efficiently,” he explained. Joseph Mordohdirector of the research team that has been working for more than 30 years on the development of a therapeutic vaccine against melanoma, in a document from the Sales Foundation.
And he added that in recent years, “immunotherapy has gained relevance with the development of monoclonal antibodies that inhibit the brakes on the immune system, enhancing its antitumor action.”
Melanoma is the generic name for melanotic or pigmented tumors and Malignant melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer, causing the majority of skin cancer-related deaths.. It is generally a skin tumor, but also of the intestine and the eye (uveal melanoma) and highly invasive due to its ability to generate metastasis.
Research conducted by Mordoh “has already shown that the vaccine is safe and, in a Phase II clinical trial, managed to delay or prevent metastasis to distant organs in a significantly superior way to Interferon Alpha, in patients with cutaneous melanoma at high risk of post-surgery relapse“, reported a statement from the Sales Foundation.
Interferon is a protein that occurs naturally in the body in very small amounts, which is also manufactured externally to the body and used as a medicine. There are three main types: alpha, beta, and gamma.
Alpha interferon is used to treat kidney cancer, malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, and carcinoid tumors. It is also sometimes used as a treatment for certain types of lymphoma and leukemia.
The study is financed through the support of Conicet in conjunction with the scientific program “Cáncer con Ciencia” Sales Foundation, which financed, 45 years ago, the work of Nobel Prize winner Luis Federico Leloir and continues to do so with his disciples who achieved achievements of international recognition.
Although there are no precise statistics on the incidence of melanoma in Argentina, a non-mandatory registry of cases reported in hospitals estimates that there would be about 1700 cases and 600 annual deaths caused by this disease.
always and when diagnosed early, this aggressive type of skin cancer can be cured with surgery; however, if left untreated, melanoma has a much higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body.
Another immunotherapy strategy consists of the administration of monoclonal antibodies, which are treatments that take advantage of the functions of the natural immune system to fight cancer.
In this regard, the medical Marcela Barrioa member of the research team, indicated that “monoclonal antibodies are molecules produced in the laboratory designed to serve as substitute antibodies for natural ones.”
“The action of monoclonal antibodies can produce the direct destruction of tumor cells, block their growth, prevent the growth of blood vessels, block inhibitors of the immune system so that they eliminate them more efficiently, or be a vehicle for the delivery of other treatments. such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy to cancer cells and spare healthy cells,” explained the researcher.
In addition to immunotherapy and surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy and other targeted therapies are part of the treatments used to treat melanoma.
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Melanoma in Phase II: Argentine vaccine achieves “promising” advances