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7 Cancer Vaccines Everyone Should Know About

Posted by Jennifer Shipp | Feb 04, 2017


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Anti-Cancer Vaccines

Did you know that there are new cancer treatments that are safer and more effective than chemotherapy and radiation? Some of these vaccines for cancer can be used on a variety of different types of tumors in different areas of the body. How would it change your life, or the lives of your loved ones if you knew about a safe and effective breast cancer vaccine (Hint: look closely at RigVir)? Everyone should know about the new science of oncolytic virotherapy/cancer vaccines and cancer immunotherapy. Read on to learn more about 7 Cancer Vaccines that have gotten a lot of attention lately for their safety and effectiveness at treating cancer:

1)    RigVir Everyone on the planet should know about RigVir. This cancer vaccine was developed in Riga, Latvia (thus the name). RigVir contains a virus that can identify cancer cells and then replicate only inside the cancer cells to destroy them, leaving the healthy cells alone. RigVir has been available in Latvia since 2004 and today it is also available in the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and in Mexico at the Immune Therapy Center and the Hope4Cancer clinics in both Tijuana and Cancun [1]. Over 50 years of research has documented the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine. It has passed all clinical trials in Latvia and it is a state-sponsored medicine used by oncologists in Latvia to treat cancer. It was initially developed for use against only melanoma, but it has been shown to work on a variety of cancers [4] including:

  • Colon cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Sarcomas
  • RigVir may work on other cancers too…

2)    T-VEC (trade name Imlygic™) – also known as Talimogene Laherparapvec

In October, 2015, the FDA approved T-VEC, a cancer vaccine developed by Amgen from a modified version of the herpes simplex virus I (the virus responsible for causing cold sores). This is a genetically modified virus as opposed to Rigvir which is NOT genetically modified. The T-VEC virus has been tweaked to kill cancer cells, but oncologists have been slow to adopt the use of this vaccine. Only specialized centers in the U.S. offer the T-VEC vaccine at this time. At this time, the FDA has only approved T-VEC for use against advanced melanoma that has relapsed and is inoperable [2]. The most common side effects from the vaccine include:  chills, fatigue, pyrexia, diarrhea, pruritis, rash, flu-like symptoms, dehydration, and vomiting.

3)    Provenge (sipuleucel-T)

Provenge was approved by the FDA in 2010 as the first therapeutic cancer vaccine for use against prostate cancer in the United States. It makes use of the patient’s own immune system to identify and then target cancer cells. It is available at the UCLA Urology department as part of the standard course of care for prostate cancer patients. Each dose of the treatment is manufactured specifically for each individual patient by collecting the patient’s immune cells (leukapheresis) and growing them in the presence of special proteins that make it possible for the immune cells to recognize cancer cells. It also stimulate the patient’s immune system to better fight cancer. For men with metastatic prostate cancer, mortality risk was reduced by 22.5% by using Provenge [5]. For more information about Provenge Immunotherapy at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA call 310-794-7700.

4)    CIMAvax- EGF

CimaVax EGF makes use of the Neisseria meningitides virus. It was developed in Cuba at the Molecular Immunology Center (also known as the Center of Molecular Immunology or Centro de Immunologia Molecular) for use against non-small cell lung cancer. It targets epidermal growth factor (EGF), a protein that can sometimes be produced in high quanitities, leading to cells that are growing and dividing uncontrollably. The vaccine also stimulates the body’s own immune response and ultimately slows the growth of tumors [6] [7] [8]. According to the research, CimaVax works best when it is administered in high, but fractionated doses at multiple sites on the body [7] [8]. Current studies suggest that administering the vaccine before and after chemotherapy had the best results, but the term "best results" is hard to quantify since it's common knowledge that standard chemotherapy and radiation treatments often cause cancer to come back within 5 years. Big Pharma has a vested interest in promoting the use of chemotherapy and radiation despite the emergence of these new cancer vaccines. Researchers say that the CimaVax cancer vaccine would make cancer into a manageable, but chronic disease [7]. Studies still need to be conducted to determine the long-term effects of chronically taking CIMAvax EGF for the treatment of cancer [8]. Ongoing clinical trials are continuing in Cuba. The Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the United States is the only facility in the United States where this treatment is available.

5)    RNA nano-particle cancer vaccine

A team of researchers have taken pieces of a tumor’s genetic RNA code and put them into nano-particles of human fat to be injected into the blood with good results. Patient’s immune systems produce killer T-cells in response to the injection and the T-cells then attack cancerous tumors. Aggressive tumors in mice that were treated with RNA nano-particle cancer vaccines were effectively treated according to Professor Ugur Sahin at Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. Though this anti-cancer vaccine shows promise, it has quite a long way to go research-wise before it will become available to the public [9].

6)    PVS-RIPO

The PVS-RIPO cancer vaccines were developed by genetically engineering poliovirus. The viruses in the vaccine target cancer cells and kill them. It infects almost all cancer cells but not normal, healthy cells. The immune system is stimulated to attack the cancerous tumor and destroy it. So far, apparently, the research indicates that this cancer vaccine is safe. Phase I clinical trials of PVS-RIPO are going on at Duke University. The trials are currently focused on glioblastoma brain tumors, but the vaccine has the potential to work on a variety of different types of cancer and future clinical trials to test the vaccine on other types of cancer are planned for the future [10]. For more information about cancer vaccine trials at Duke University call 919-684-5301.

7)    Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment Vaccine

Developed in the Cayman Islands by a company called Perseus PCI (Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy), personalized immunotherapy cancer vaccines use the patient’s own cells to activate the immune system against cancer cells. This vaccine is useful as a treatment against solid-tumor cancers. The treatment involves once-a-month injections for 4 months. It produces few, if any side-effects. FDA approval is in the works, but clinical research of the vaccine has been approved by the Health Practice Commission in the Cayman Islands.

Remember, even if the 7 cancer vaccines above don’t specifically target the type of cancer that you or your loved one has, consider contacting the scientists and doctors who work directly with these vaccines for cancer to learn more about alternative cancer cures. Network to find creative medical professionals or scientists who would be willing to work with you and your specific form of cancer.

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References: [1] Simona Donina, Leva Strele, Guna Proboka, Jurgis Auzins, Peteris Alberts, Bjorn Jonsson, Dite Venskus, Aina Muceniece  (2015). Adapted ECHO-7 virus Rigvir immunotherapy (oncolytic virotherapy) prolongs survival in melanoma patients after surgical excision of the tumour in a retrospective study. Available online: February 4, 2017. [2] Cancer Research Institute (2015). FDA Approves First in a New Class of Immunotherapies. Available online: February 4, 2017. [3] MedicalExpress (2016). Healing virus ‘Rigvir’ can double cancer survival rates. Available online: February 4, 2017. [4] Peteris Alberts, Evija Olmane, Linda Brokane, Zanda Krastina, Mara Romanovska, Karlis Kupcs, Isajevs, Guna Proboka, Romualds Erdmanis, Jurijs Nazarovs, Dite Venskus (2016). Long-term treatment with the oncolytic ECHO-7 virus Rigvir of a melanoma stage IV M1c patient, a small cell lung cancer stage IIIA patient, and a histiocytic sarcoma stage IV patient-three case reports. Available online: February 4, 2017. [5] UCLA Health (n.d.). Provenge Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment. Available online: February 4, 2017. [6] CancerResearchUK (n.d.). Can you tell me about the CimaVax lung cancer vaccine? Available online: February 4, 2017. [7] Craig, J. (2016). CIMAVAX comes to U.S. after years of development in Cuba. Available online: February 4, 2017. [8] Rodriguez, P.C., Rodriguez, G., Gonzalez, G., Lage A. (2010). Clinical development and perspectives of CIMAvax EGF Cuban vaccine for non-small-cell lung cancer therapy. Available online: February 4, 2017. [9] Johnston, I. (2016). ‘Universal cancer vaccine’ breakthrough claimed by experts. Available online: February 4, 2017. [10] Gromeier, M. & Vlahovic, G. (n.d.). Targeting Cancer with Genetically Engineered Poliovirus (PVS-RIPO). Available online: February 4, 2017. [11] Perseus (n.d.). A Cancer Treatment Vaccine Developed with Immunotherapy. Available online: February 4, 2017.


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