A Vaccine is a substance which is used to revive the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or many diseases, that are prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, which act as an antigen without being inducing the disease. Cancer Vaccine (shot) is a vaccine available to treat certain kinds of cancer. It treats the already existing cancer or prevents the development of cancer.
These vaccines are broadly classified into
1. Cancer prevention Vaccine
2. Cancer treatment Vaccine
Cancer prevention vaccine works in a way to prevent the human body from acquiring cancer from other diseases. The HPV vaccine, used against human papillomavirus, is used to work against cancers like cervical, vaginal, vulvar cancer and other genital cancers. Hepatitis B vaccine works against liver cancer.
Cancer treatment vaccines are called therapeutic vaccines or autologous cancer vaccines, meaning derived from one’s own cancer cells. These also have an immunotherapic effect. These pump up the body’s defense mechanism. By introducing one or more antigens into the body an immune response is created which ultimately kills the potential cancer cells. Cancer treatment vaccines are different as they target the immune system to attack cancerous cells which are active in the body.
These vaccines also-
1. Prevent cancer from coming back
2. Destroys any other cancer cells which are still in the body after other treatments have ended
3. Stop a tumor from growing or spreading
The very first FDA approved cancer vaccine was sipuleucel-T (Provenge). It is customized to each patient and was designed to be stimulated by a prostatic acid phosphatase, an antigen found on prostate cancer cases.
The first FDA-approved oncolytic virus therapy, talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC, or Imlygic). This is based on the herpes simplex virus. The virus affects both cancer and normal cells, but in cancer cells when the T-VEC is injected, the cells burst and die. The cells which are dying releases new viruses, GM-CSF, and a variety of tumor-specific antigens that can revive an immune response against cancer cells throughout the body.
The most promising BC vaccines currently available are NeuVax, AVX901, and INO-1400.
In recent new, Virus-like-particles (VLP), a morphological virus-like identified nanostructure have been studied that overcome the immunosuppressive state of the tumor microenvironment and break self-tolerance to elicit strong cytotoxic lymphocyte activity which is some crucial factors forth both virus clearance and destruction of cancerous cells. This makes them ideal to be cancer vaccine platforms.
Then there are other types,
1. Dendritic cell vaccines, made from dendritic cells are grown in a lab together with cancer cells which stimulate the immune system to attack the cancer cell.
2. DNA vaccines are made with bits of DNA from cancer cells making the cells of the immune system better at destroying cancer cells.
3. Anti-idiotype vaccines help stimulates the body to produce antibodies.
4. Whole tumor vaccines are the one which uses the whole cancer cell, not just an antigen, to make the vaccine