Ask Dr. Nandi: New cancer vaccine is 100 percent successful in mouse model

An experimental new cancer vaccine appears to fight off a deadly type of skin cancer.  

Melanoma kills more than 9,000 Americans every year, but a new study found a particular molecule could be a life-saving game changer. 

The molecule is called Diprovocim. Now it doesn’t work all by itself; the scientists discovered it works best with existing therapies.  

In the study, mice with Melanoma were given an anti-cancer therapy called anti-PD-L1 in addition to the cancer vaccine.  

Amazingly, the mice that received the cancer vaccine plus Diprovocim had a 100% survival rate over 54 days, whereas the mice who received the cancer vaccine with no Diprovocim had a 0% survival rate. 

Diprovocim works by firing up and boosting the immune system’s ability to fight cancers. It prompts the body to produce cancer-fighting cells called leukocytes and draws them to the tumor so that they can attack and eliminate it.  

But what was really surprising was when the researchers tried to re-establish melanoma tumors - it didn’t work. Because the mice were already vaccinated and the vaccine appeared protective against tumors reoccurring.  

This experimental approach was tested on mice, and we know just because it works on mice, doesn’t mean it will work on people. So the researchers are planning more pre-clinical testing in the future.  

In the meantime, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer here in the US. And the rate of Melanoma cases have doubled.  

The CDC reports that people who die from this deadly skin cancer lose an average of 20 years of life expectancy. So please take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.  

We still have hot sunny days ahead of us. So don’t forget to use sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, avoid the sun during midday hours, and skip sunbathing and indoor tanning.  

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