Russian Health Minister Reveals Cancer Vaccine Progress

HEALTH, 1 Jul 2024

RT - TRANSCEND Media Service

© Getty Images / gevende

The results of preclinical trials should be ready by the end of the year, Mikhail Murashko has said.

9 Jun 2024 – Russian researchers are finalizing trials on a vaccine against cancer, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko revealed yesterday.

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

“This is a drug for cancer immunotherapy. It was developed jointly by several scientific teams… and is financed by the state. The vaccine is undergoing preclinical trials, and we expect to receive the first results by the end of the year, and then launch clinical tests,” Murashko told TASS on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

In an interview with last week, the head of the Gamaleya Institute, Aleksandr Gintsburg, described the new drug, noting that it is a therapeutic vaccine, which will be administered to those already diagnosed with cancer. It was created on the basis of mRNA technology, which has already been used by drug manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna for making vaccines against Covid-19. Gintsburg noted that the new vaccine can be used for any type of cancer.

“They will be individual, designed for a specific person… The technology makes it possible to create within cells a very large concentration of the target antigen, the protein that the vaccine developer encoded in this mRNA. This is necessary in order to show the immune system of a person with cancer how to distinguish a healthy cell from a malignant one,” Gintsburg explained.

According to statistics, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in both Russia and globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 2022 alone, there were roughly 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths. In its recent report in February, the agency estimated that about one in five people globally develop cancer in their lifetime, while roughly one in nine men, and one out of 12 women die from the disease.

Many countries have been working on ways to treat the disease. In May, clinical trials of a cancer vaccine began in the UK. The country’s National Health Service has signed up dozens of patients in its program to launch personalized cancer treatments, which aim to provide a permanent cure. While the research is still at an early stage, trials have reportedly shown the drug can effectively destroy tumor cells remaining after surgery and significantly reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

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