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Cancer Patient Injected With Vaccine For The First Time

DNA.Max Pixel/Max Pixel

Cancer is one of the last remaining major illnesses that still does not have a vaccine, but human trials have finally begun to change all this. Moderna Therapeutics just injected a patient with a cancer vaccine for the first time. Even more impressive is that the cure was actually customized based on the type of cancer the patient had and how it developed.

The company basically tailor-made the vaccine based on the genetic code of the patient’s lung, Futurism reports. Researchers took a piece of tissue from the organ, sequenced the genes, and then found markers that they could target for the cure. The scientists then created a template that would edit the markers.

In the company press release, one of the principal investigators of the study, Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD said that customizing the vaccine to suit each patient’s genetic code would make it easier for the body to accept it. Doing so would make treatments more effective.

“An individualized medicine designed to help each patient’s immune system better recognize cancer as foreign and attack it would be a critical addition to oncologists’ treatment arsenal, potentially helping many more patients respond more effectively to treatment,” Burris said.

Although this development does provide cancer patients hope of increasing their odds of survival, it’s also worth noting that the accompanying costs of such treatments might be beyond what ordinary citizens can afford. A vaccine that is specifically made to suit an individual’s DNA is not going to be cheap and the company has not revealed what the price range of the product is likely to be.

There’s also the important matter of the technology behind the vaccine being unproven. Too many drug and medical companies have promised cures for cancer in the past but ultimately failed to deliver. For now, it’s worth holding on to hope while also expecting nothing.

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