A New Colorectal Cancer Vaccine Can Benefit Patients with Pancreatic Cancer Too

Colorectal cancer is a form of cancer that originates from the colon or rectum. In most cases, it is considered a disease of the old. Colorectal cancer does not present any symptoms while in the early stages. Its symptoms are based on the tumor location, and how the cancer has progressed to the surrounding organs. The causes of this cancer are not known yet, but some patients develop it through family history. Both men and women can have the disease. Screening is recommended for people at age 50.

A new vaccine has been developed that activates the immune cells in the body to destroy cancerous cells. It contains a virus that expresses targeted tumor antigens. The virus will infect the cells and cause the immune response to find and destroy them. The vaccine can be administered through a muscle in the arm from where the immune cells will spread to other body parts rest of the body and kill cancer cells.

The vaccine seeks a particular molecule in the colorectal cancer cells known as GUCY2C. The researchers also found this molecule in the stomach, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers. This is good news for pancreatic cancer patients as researchers are working to develop a version of the vaccine tailored to the disease.

The causes of pancreatic cancer are yet to be discovered. Most of the causal factors are age, obesity, and family history. The location of the pancreas in the body makes it hard for doctors to diagnose early and treat. Also, the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are not obvious; they develop over time and cause late diagnosis.

The goal of the study was to help colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients receive standard therapies instead of depending on chemotherapy alone. If the vaccine works for these cancers, there is hope for a complete cure without the possibility of recurrence.

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