A new cancer vaccine has begun Phase III clinical trials at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.
This revolutionary vaccine called ImMucin is being tested in the treatment of a type of blood cancer known as multiple myeloma.
Much like the common vaccine, ImMucin helps the body kill off foreign viruses and bacteria, however, unlike traditional vaccines, ImMucin is given to those who are already sick.
ImMucin teaches the immune system to use what are called “T-cells” to target and destroy a molecule called MUC1, typically found only in cancer cells. Since the vaccine trains the immune system to kill only cancer cells, it is expected that patients will not experience the negative side effects that come along with traditional cancer treatments.
Researchers expect that this new vaccine will help more than those battling multiple myeloma. Over 90% of cancers contain MUC1, making ImMucin a potentially groundbreaking treatment in the deadliest disease of the 21st century.
“We have succeeded in identifying a novel way to detect cancer onset and progression,” Dr. Lior Carmon, founder and CEO of the Israeli-based company Vaxil BioTherapeutics which produced the vaccine, said in a press release. “This is an invaluable tool which will significantly enhance our ability to provide effective relief to these patients who are eligible to be treated with ImMucin and is yet another validation of our VaxHit technology.”
While advanced-stage cancer will require treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation to remove larger tumors, with the help of ImMucin, the body will be able to fight off the cancer once brought down to size, according to CEO Julian levy. ImMucin is also said to help in preventing relapse.
Vaxil was founded in 2006 by Dr. Carmen, a biotechnology entrepreneur with a PhD in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The company is based in Ness Ziona.