An experimental vaccine may someday prevent colorectal cancer in people with a genetic condition that puts them at high risk, new research suggests.
Lynch Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects about 1.17 million Americans who are 70 to 80 percent more at risk for colorectal cancer than the rest of the population
They are also predisposed to develop other gastrointestinal cancers, and women with Lynch Syndrome have a higher risk of uterine and ovarian cancers
Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine developed a vaccine that destroyed the mutated cells made by Lynch DNA in the mouse
The mice that the researchers vaccinated and gave a common anti -inflammatory drug has lived up to 60 percent longer than unvaccinated animals, suggesting that, if the shot is developed for humans, it could protect people from lethal cancers
'It could cure them over time. If it started preventatively, they could be a normal age for those without Lynch Syndrome. "
Of course, the study was done in mice, so it's not necessarily predictive of outcomes for people, but it's certainly a bright spot of hope for those with Lynch Syndrome
Scientists suspect that lifestyle factors such as obesity are driving the surging rates of colorectal cancer in the US, but Lynch syndrome patients are born at high risk
Not only are they at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, when they do, the tumors often mutate, making them harder to treat
However, in recent years, vaccines have shown promised to prevent cancer caused by HPV and Hepatitis B and C 'have made significant progress in effectively reducing the number of people who fall prey to cancers, such as head, neck, anal and liver cancers, says Dr Lipkin
Lynch Syndrome is one of the most common genetic disorders and can affect several genes in the same family of DNA repair mismatch repair genes, (1969002) Since mutations in the genetic code can cause cancer cells to grow out of control, people with Lynch syndrome are missing one of the body's natural mechanisms to prevent tumors.
Lynch Syndrome is the most common cause of incurable colorectal cancer, says Dr. Lipkin.
Lynch syndrome is one of the same genus mutations that occurs in 60 to 80 percent of human Lynch sufferers.
Dr. Lipkin and his team of combined peptides – compounds made of a chain of amino acids – known to fight tumor-causing substances w
In the mice they were vaccinated, the shot 'actually induced the immune system to respond to the mutations and kill the cells,' explained Dr. Lipkin. ]
And the effects were even more dramatic when scientists supplemented the vaccine with a regimen of Naproxen, extending it to the number of tumors that develop in the mice, and it extends their survival period.
'Some mice had long-term cures and did not develop tumors, others did develop tumors, but there were fewer and they were smaller than average per mouse,' says Dr Lipkin
And some developed no tumors at all, which was pleasantly surprising
'We never see that with Lynch syndrome mice that are not on this kind of treatment.'
Currently, doctors advise Lynch -positive patients take daily aspirin, which is linked
The latest findings, presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, are not ready to be adopted for human use, so patients should not switch from aspirin to Naproxen just yet.
Nor is the vaccine ready to inoculate humans, Dr. Lipkin says, especially because tests in mice tell them little about the possible side effects
'There are hundreds of steps that need to go properly, if we want to take the simplest situation, to work out the bugs and have it work well, 'he says.
But with the caveat that's just mice, it's very promising. ' says Dr Lipkin
He and his team have already written a proposal to begin phase 1 clinical trials in humans and are hopeful that they will get enough funding to start the studies by 2020.