A novel nano-vaccine has been developed by researchers from Tel Aviv University so as to treat melanoma, which is one of the most antagonistic types of skin cancer. The vaccine has to date proved effective in the mice models in preventing the growth of melanoma and also keeping the initial tumors and metastases at bay that may later trigger the onset of the disease. The vaccine is still in its primary clinical stages and has yet to reach the human clinical trials or human tissue experiments. This new approach of using a vaccine to treat melanoma has helped open new avenues for skin cancer therapies. The most complex stages of the disease can also be treated using the vaccine approach.
According to Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, the tiny nanoparticles consisting of biodegradable polymers and about 170 nanometers in size were used. The particle was found to contain two peptides that are generally found in melanoma cells. This nano-vaccine was then injected into the mice having melanoma. The nanoparticles vaccines showed certain resemblance with the viral-borne diseases’ vaccines. The immune system was seen to attack the melanoma cells that had the nanoparticles attached to them. The immunized system is seen to be activated to fight cancer cells using the vaccine approach. In comparison to the surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy, the vaccine approach has not yet been proved effective against cancer. But, the current research helps provide evidence that nano-vaccine is effective against melanoma and makes immune system sensitive to immunotherapies.
The researchers hope to use their nano-vaccine approach for other kinds of cancer as well. Likewise, the researcher Jason Locasale from Duke University has found the amino acid methionine that is generally found in higher amounts in the red meat and eggs to play an important role in triggering cancer growth. Thus, a balanced diet along with restricted methionine levels can help control the tumor growth and also prevent it.