The GuardianThe Guardian

‘This will happen before 2030’: How the science behind Covid vaccines might help to fight cancer

By David Cox

22 Jan 2023 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

mRNA technology has tested effective in fighting certain types of cancers in early clinical trials. The Guardian explains how mRNA could be an effective weapon against melanoma and other tumors.

In December 2022, the US biotech firm Moderna, a company that emerged from relative obscurity to become a household name during the pandemic, published the results of a clinical trial that sent ripples through the world of cancer research.

Conducted in partnership with the pharma company MSD, it demonstrated that a messenger RNA (mRNA) cancer vaccine, used in combination with immunotherapy, could offer significant benefit to patients with advanced melanoma who had received surgery to remove their tumours. After a year’s worth of treatment, the phase IIb trial found that the combination reduced the risk of cancer recurrence or death by 44%.

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