Cancer Vaccine - A giant leap in cancer treatment

Published: 8 Aug 2006

By Sylvia M.Findlay, Research Analyst, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology, Healthcare - EMEA

Globally 10.0 million new cases of cancer are registered each year. Rising incidence of cancer warrants equally high treatment costs. The cancer market is posing exorbitantly high expenditures to the governments. The rising cancer incidence is expected to make cancer as one of the major chronic diseases that will have a high impact on the patient lives. The cancer market is yet to witness refinement in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for improved cancer management.

Continuous research and advances in molecular biology, immunology cancer genetics, coupled with the influx of genomics, proteomics and micro arrays have led to the identification of novel molecular targets for cancer therapy and prevention. These discoveries have opened up new frontiers in the field of molecular medicine resulting in innovative cancer therapies. One of the major breakthroughs in cancer therapy is the cancer vaccine.

Cancer Vaccines can either be a therapeutic vaccine (to treat existing cancers in patients) or a prophylactic vaccine (administered to healthy individuals to prevent the occurrence of cancer). These vaccines possess cancer-specific antigens that stimulate the immune response to attack the cancer cells. These cancer cells often are not recognised by the body’s immune system. As these vaccines are targeted towards the cancer cells, the normal cells are not affected. In addition, the delirious side effects of chemotherapeutic agents are not seen when using cancer vaccines. This is a great move towards innovative cancer therapy. Various types of cancer vaccines under research are

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