Could BioNTech’s New mRNA Technology for COVID-19 Treat Cancer?
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Could BioNTech’s new mRNA Technology treat cancer as two doctors are exploring a new technology involving messenger RNA (mRNA), to treat cancer?
Two doctors are exploring a new technology involving messenger RNA (mRNA), to treat cancer.
Professors Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci who co-founded the German company BioNTech in 2008 are hopeful that the new technology could lead to new treatments for melanoma, bowel cancer, and other tumour types ever since BioNTech’s mRNA cancer trials which started long before the pandemic have shown some early encouraging signals. So, could BioNTech’s New mRNA Technology for COVID-19 treat cancer?
BioNTech has several trials in progress, including one where patients are given a personalized vaccine, to prompt their immune system to attack their disease.
The mRNA technology being used works by sending an instruction or blueprint to cells to produce an antigen or protein which teaches the immune system to recognize target affected cells for termination.
Harnessing the potential of mRNA to produce vaccines was unverified until COVID-19. Still, the success of mRNA vaccines in the pandemic has encouraged many scientists to work with the technology to find a cure for cancer.
Since many promising cancer trials fail, caution is needed. It may be several years before we know if BioNTech’s treatments for bowel cancer, melanoma and other tumour types really do take on cancer.
According to the BBC report, BioNTech’s chief medical officer, Professor Ozlem Tureci, said that every step, every patient they treated in their cancer trials helped them to find out more about what they were against and how to address that,” Prof Tureci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer.
Prof Tureci said: “mRNA acts as a blueprint and allows you to tell the body to produce the drug or the vaccine… and when you use mRNA as a vaccine, the mRNA is a blueprint for the ‘wanted poster’ of the enemy – in this case, cancer antigens which distinguish cancer cells from normal cells.”
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