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Early Trial Results for Colorectal Cancer Vaccine Show Great Promise

A phase one clinical trial showed that a new colorectal cancer vaccine caused immune cell activation and led to no serious side effects. The purpose of the trial was to find out whether the vaccine was safe for use and if it would activate immune cells. From the results, the trial was successful and opens the floor for further study.

Here is how the vaccine works and why it is important:

  • Colorectal tumors express a particular molecule known as GUCY2C. The vaccine causes the immune system to target this molecule thus targeting the cancer cells and destroying them. Since there are no serious side effects, the body can then safely fight the cancer and improve treatment results. Once the action is activated, the immune system fights off the cancer with the potential to completely destroy it.

  • Colorectal cancer falls third on the list of most common cancer diagnosis and is also the third leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. The American Cancer Society expect doctors to diagnose over 44,000 cases of rectal cancer and more than 101,000 colon cancer cases in 2019. Statistics show an expected estimate of about 51,000 deaths in 2019 alone. Symptoms may take a while to show and this makes early detection and prevention very crucial for patient survival.

  • Several other cancers give off this same GUCY2C molecule including pancreatic, esophageal and gastric cancers. Combined, these cancers account for about 20 percent of cancer-related deaths. The results of this trial will therefore work to improve treatment for several other cancers as well thus greatly affecting the current cancer statistics.

With increased research and improvement of the current vaccine to incorporate other cancers, it is possible that cancer patients will soon have something more to smile about. An effective vaccine stands out as a huge milestone for cancer treatment and will tip the scales in the fight against cancer.

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