Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Canada, as well as the leading cause of cancer related deaths. It even causes more deaths than the next three major cancers combined. Although there has been a substantial drop in lung cancer diagnosis over the past 20 years, there is plenty that needs to be done before the disease is preventable and completely treatable. Researchers are looking to trial new drugs that take a different approach from current invasive treatment options.
A new lung cancer vaccine approved by the FDA uses immunotherapy to target cancer cells. If you’re interested in clinical research, read on to discover more about the vaccine that is set to start clinical trials in the United States.
Immunotherapy Explained for Students Pursuing a Clinical Research Diploma
Many scientists believe that the future of treating cancer lies in immunotherapy. Unlike typical treatments for cancer like chemotherapy and radiation, immunotherapy uses the body’s natural defence mechanisms to fight the cancer from within. Cancer is tricky to treat, because immune cells that protect the body from infection cannot detect cancerous cells. This is because cancer cells create a molecule that blocks the immune cells from recognizing them as a threat. Learning how to stop this process through immunotherapy may be the key to stopping cancer’s progression.
Cuba Is the Home of this Revolutionary New Cancer Treatment
Cuba has a global reputation for providing extremely high-quality healthcare. Their medical industry is extremely innovative and forward thinking when it comes to developing new treatments. This new lung cancer vaccine is no different. The drug was developed at Havana’s Center of Molecular Immunology and has been tested by those with clinical research careers in many countries including Bosnia, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru. Over 4,000 lung cancer patients have received the vaccination to date. So far, results have shown a higher survival rate amongst study participants, better quality of life, and stabilized tumor growth.
Since the United States and Cuba have re-established ties, leaders in the United States’ medical fields are jumping on Cuba’s best medical developments to bring them to the US. Havana’s Center of Molecular Immunology has formed an agreement with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, to start a US clinical trial, which has now been approved by the FDA.
The Vaccination Explained for Students in Clinical Research Diploma Programs
As you may learn when studying for your clinical research diploma, there are often specifications about who can participate in a clinical trial. In order to enroll in this trial, participants must have a life expectancy of over six months. They must also have already received first-line systematic chemotherapy, meaning they have received their first round of treatment. Starting late 2016, 60 to 90 adult patients will begin to participate in the revolutionary study.
The vaccine works by telling the body’s natural immune system to block a certain protein that cancer cells need to grow. This helps the body starve the cancerous cells of the protein, which eventually kills the cancer cells.
Although the clinical trial is taking place in the United States, it could make a major difference in the lives of Canadians if it is proven successful. This drug could go on to inspire other pharmaceutical companies to explore immunotherapy as a viable cancer treatment option. Future clinical research professionals may even see more clinical trials like this one begin to crop up as immunotherapy for cancer gains popularity.
Does the ever-changing field of pharmaceuticals and clinical research interest you? Consider enrolling in clinical research courses in Toronto!
Contact an advisor at AAPS today to learn how you can get started.