27 October 2010

Vaccine for cancer treatment: another hope

Cancer is backing away
Russian scientists have invented a new vaccine against a deadly diseaseEkaterina Sveshnikova, MK, 26.10.2010

According to official statistics, almost half a million Russians are diagnosed with cancer every year. And more than 280 thousand people die from malignant neoplasms. In principle, the disease has been studied quite deeply by scientists. But they are fighting the disease now mainly with the help of chemotherapy. And it often happens that a person successfully gets rid of the disease itself, and after a while dies from the received dose of a toxic substance. Now scientists around the world are looking for an analogue of chemotherapy, and, according to many, it will be vaccine therapy. Scientists from the I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University are on the way to creating such a panacea for tumors. Experts have already developed a vaccine and proved its effectiveness on laboratory animals. Now the next step is clinical research. Vladimir Chernikov, an assistant of the Department of Biochemistry of the Medical Faculty, Candidate of Biological Sciences, told MK about this scientific work.

– Vladimir Alexandrovich, it turns out that we are pioneers in this field?

"Not exactly. The first were American scientists, they have significantly higher funding for such research. We took the same idea, but significantly changed the technology of vaccine production. We can say that we have learned from the mistakes of our foreign colleagues. We have now applied for a patent for our vaccine. Judging by animal studies, it works! And most likely clinical studies will confirm its therapeutic effect. I would like to note that this work is a joint work of scientists from the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Laboratory of Biotechnology of the Institute of Molecular Medicine of the I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, as well as the Department of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine.

– What is included in this vaccine?

– It consists of two parts. The first component is a hybrid analogue of a natural human protein developed by us, which activates lymphocytes in the body, which will fight the tumor. It was obtained by biotechnology and genetic engineering with the help of special bacteria. The second component is low–molecular tumor particles, which do not cause tumor progression, but contain all the "information" necessary for the immune system about it. Then, relatively speaking, everything is mixed, and a vaccine is obtained.

– Can any tumor be cured with such a vaccine?

– We have conducted tests only on some types of cancer, but in principle there are practically no restrictions. The fact is that each patient's tumor is unique, and in order to teach the immune system to fight it, you need to extract part of it. After that, an individual vaccine is manufactured using our technology. It needs to be injected under the skin for some time.

– How many injections do I need to do to fully heal?

– According to the experience of American research – at least 8. We believe that our vaccine will be no less effective. But this will be shown by clinical studies, which, we hope, will begin in the near future. It should be understood that its actual implementation is at least 5 years away. Research, registration of the necessary documents – all this takes a lot of time. The stage of preclinical animal testing is almost over now. In a nutshell, I will tell you how such work is carried out. We implant tumor cells in mice (in our case, they were prostate cancer cells). After that, we remove part of the neoplasm to the animal, from which we make individual preparations. The vaccine is injected subcutaneously. After some time, the size of the remaining tumor decreases significantly.

– And how does this vaccine differ from the American one?

– Individual vaccines that are currently being clinically tested in the States, in our opinion, have many disadvantages. Americans are trying to isolate all the components of the vaccine from the tumor. But we must take into account: the tumor itself is quite small, respectively, a small amount of vaccine is obtained. In our case, four times less tumor material is needed to create a vaccine. In addition, our patented method of quality control of the vaccine allows us to guarantee effectiveness in each case. In general, our goal is that in the future cancer patients can receive care in ordinary district polyclinics. Well, imagine, a district doctor found a malignant formation in a person. Immediately, the surgeon removes this tumor, and the material is transferred to a prescription pharmacy. The vaccine itself, as you have already understood, is produced quite simply. And that's it! The patient will simply need to be injected according to the schedule. I would like to note that this work is under the special attention of the Rector of the First Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor Pyotr Glybochko. And recently, at the X Moscow Salon of Investments and Innovations, we received the gold medal of the Grand Prix of the International Jury. I think this is a great success!

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru27.10.2010

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