A new vaccine shows encouraging early results as a potential off-the-shelf treatment for certain patients with pancreatic or colorectal cancer, according to a study co-led by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). The vaccine targets tumors with mutations (or changes) in the KRAS gene, a driving force in many cancers.
This cancer vaccine is different from another type of pancreatic cancer vaccine, which is custom-made for each patient using messenger RNA (mRNA). Both are therapeutic vaccines given after surgery to prevent or delay the cancer from coming back in high-risk patients.
“Having a vaccine that’s ‘off-the-shelf’ would make it easier, faster, and less expensive to treat a larger number of patients,” says medical oncologist and pancreatic cancer specialist Eileen O’Reilly, MD, who helped lead the trial and is one of the corresponding authors in the study published in Nature Medicine. “This gives hope for people with pancreatic and colorectal cancer who have been out of effective treatments when their disease returns.”