June 7, 2023
A promising cancer vaccine is the hope of new treatment options for the disease

A promising cancer vaccine is the hope of new treatment options for the disease

Patients with cancer in the coming years should have access to new treatment options that increase survival. One of them is the promising vaccine OVM-200, which is being developed by Oxford Vacmedix, which is associated with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Recently, trials began on the first 35 cancer patients. They will receive three doses of the vaccination, two weeks apart, and will be monitored for one semester.

Contrary to what common sense suggests, the vaccine, if approved, will not be used as a form of prevention, but as another alternative to treating advanced-stage tumours. During the clinical study, the target tumors will be prostate, lung and ovarian tumors.

In theory, OVM-200 has a similar profile to immunotherapy, a treatment already used in cancer patients and aimed at stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells, explained Fernando de Moura, an oncologist at BP – A Beneficência Portuguesa, of São Paulo.

In this case, the difference is that the vaccine is being developed to attack the neutrophil protein, a specific protein normally found in cancer cells.

“Tumors that express this protein have a higher ability to proliferate, and studies show that bazofin is associated with a worse outlook, a greater degree of aggressiveness and a greater risk of relapse. So, this vaccine is a peptide that works and stimulates the immune system to attack the cells that specifically provide this protein. Selection, the specialist explains.

Although the proposal is promising, the oncologist notes that the vaccine, if approved for use, is not intended to open the door to a cure for cancer. The purpose, in this case, is to increase the patient’s survival, that is, to prolong the time a person can live with the disease.

“The patients included in this study have advanced disease, and they have already used the standard treatments today, so we are talking about very high-risk patients, because this profile is very difficult to use the word cure,” the doctor asserts.

In addition, oncologist Lin I Ter highlights that OVM-200 is in phase I clinical studies, which means there is a long way to go until it is approved and, at a later time, part of the suite of oncology therapies.

To be incorporated into clinical practice, it must be tested and compared with existing treatments and shown to be more effective, or just as effective, but with less toxicity. It’s a treatment that could be promising, but there’s still a way to go,” he says.