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Vaccines to Treat Cancer!

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2010-06-02 21:17:37
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Article Summary: "Cancer vaccine may contain cancer cell, pure antigens or part of the cancer cell. A Cancer vaccine increases the immune response of the body against the cancer cells.."


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Introduction:


Cancer vaccine may contain cancer cell, pure antigens or part of the cancer cell. A Cancer vaccine increases the immune response of the body against the cancer cells. In most cases cancer vaccines are combined with small molecules known as adjuvants which help in boosting the immune response against the cancer cells.

Cancer vaccines activate one's own immune system to fight against the cancer. These vaccines induce specific immune response against cancer cells, with the help of one or more specific antigens. Therefore it's believed that the cancer vaccines will stop cancer recurrence in patients.

Cancer vaccines are being studied in the laboratory and some have reached the final stage of clinical trial, but none of the vaccine are yet been approved for cancer treatment.

Cancer Vaccine Types:

Tumor Cell Vaccine:

Tumor cell vaccines are formulated using the real cancer cells which are extracted during a surgery. These cells are then treated with radiation, then with chemicals or in some times new genes are also added. So that the immune system recognise these cells as foreign body and activates immune system against these antigens.

Tumor cell vaccines are sometimes fused with the dendritic cell to boost the immune response. Here it is hoped that the dendritic cell will act as adjuvants.

Tumor cell vaccines are being studied against several types of cancer, they are
1. melanoma
2. kidney cancer
3. ovarian cancer
4. breast cancer
5. colorectal cancer
6. lung cancer
7. prostate cancer
8. non-Hodgkin lymphoma
9. leukemia

Antigen Vaccine:

Antigen vaccine unlike the tumor vaccines contains only one type of antigen, which help in boosting the immune response against the cancer cells. Some antigen vaccine are very specific and they cause immune response against particular type of cancer in a patient. Researchers or doctors often combine several types of antigen in a vaccine hoping to get a stronger immune response against the cancer.

Antigen vaccines are being studied against several types of cancer, they are

1. prostate cancer
2. colorectal cancer
3. ovarian cancer
4. melanoma
5. kidney cancer
6. pancreatic cancer
7. multiple myeloma

Dendritic Cell Vaccine:

Dendritic cells are antigen presenting cell, helps the immune system in recognising the antigens present in the body. Dendritic cell vaccine are patient specific, vaccine are prepared by mixing the dendrtitic cell with the cancer cells extracted from the patient's body. This leads to the formation of dendritic cells with cancer antigens on their cell membrane. These vaccines help in boosting the immune response gainst particular cancer cells present in the body.

Dendritic cell vaccine are being studied against several types of cancer, they are

1. prostate cancer
2. melanoma
3. kidney cancer
4. colorectal cancer
5. lung cancer
6. breast cancer
7. leukaemia
8. non-Hodgkin lymphoma

DNA Vaccine:

DNA or part of DNA which code for the protein antigens are recognised, extracted and produced in large number. Then these DNA are delivered into the patient's body with the help of vectors. Liposomes, nanoparticles or viral vectors are also used to deliver these DNA vaccines.

DNA vaccine are being studied against several types of cancer, they are
1. melanoma
2. leukaemia
3. prostate cancer
4. head and neck cancer

We can hope that one day in the near future these vaccines can be used to treat patients with different types of cancer, and vaccine will help in improving the quality of life of the patient with cancer.

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