Scientific journal Nature said a personalised treatment based on messenger RNA by BioNTech potentially bodes well for the future of fighting an extremely aggressive form of cancer after the regimen was shown to trigger a promising immune reaction in some pancreatic cancer patients.
Results of a trial in the first phase of testing on humans showed that half of the 16 trial participants, who had undergone surgery to remove their tumour, had developed T cells that can potentially recognise cancerous cells and stop them from re-emerging, Nature said in a paper.
The readout, which was reported first by BioNTech in June of last year, is adding to evidence that the technology behind COVID-19 vaccines has potential in oncology.
The treatment is co-developed by Roche’s Genentech.
The trial focused on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which accounts for more than 90 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases. Only about 10 per cent of PDAC patients are alive within two years of diagnosis.
Together with accompanying commentary by external experts, publication Nature also carried an article on the results of the trial, which was conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Among the eight trial participants with a detectable immune response, there was no evidence of cancer recurrence 18 months after surgery, while the median time to recurrence was 13.4 months among the non-responders.
(Edits by EP News Bureau)