Broad cancer vaccine may be out of reach


The high level of genetic diversity between individual tumors suggests that if it were to be developed, a broad cancer vaccine would be unlikely to work for more than 0.3 per cent of the population, according to new research published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

Next generation sequencing has revealed a wealth of information on the genetic diversity of tumors, which in turn has led to research into individualised treatments for cancer based on the molecular characteristics of a patient’s tumor.

Cancer vaccines are one type of prospective treatment that involves turning the patient’s immune system against the tumor.

Dr Ryan Hartmaier, lead author from Foundation Medicine, USA, said: “A broad or semi-universal vaccine capable of targeting many different tumors would be seen by some as the ‘holy grail’ of cancer therapy as it wouldn’t involve the time or cost of individualising treatment.  Continue reading Broad cancer vaccine may be out of reach