Updated Research on Cancer Vaccines

At DCG Giving, a critical aspect of our mission is supporting members of the Children’s Oncology Group in their efforts to fund new treatments that can save the lives of more children with cancer. This year, there’s been a potentially major breakthrough. Among the emerging forms of treatment for pediatric cancer is immunotherapy, utilizing the patient’s own immune system to fight cancerous cells and stop their growth. One of the immunotherapy treatments that researchers have been developing is cancer vaccines using mRNA to induce immune cells to seek out cancer. Major pharmaceutical manufacturers Moderna and Merck reported this summer that a cancer vaccine under trial for melanoma reduced the risk of the cancer spreading by 65%.

This is one of the first major successes in creating a viable cancer vaccine, which scientists have long been seeking due to its potential high effectiveness, customizability, and low side effects. While every type of cancer needs to be treated differently, having a reliable vaccine for treating one kind opens the door for many more similar treatments to be developed. The mRNA vaccinations that are currently under trial can be produced in as little as 8 weeks, and scientists hope that pairing them with other drugs that stimulate immune response will lead to a new paradigm in oncology.

Sadly, only a very small portion of the federal government’s annual monetary allocations for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancer. That’s why DCG Giving partners with the Children’s Oncology Group to fund research into much-needed treatments, including cancer vaccine development, at local institutions across the country. Future vaccines for childhood cancers would be an incredible boon and source of hope for young people with cancer, because they potentially have much less severe side effects than the current first-line treatments. Furthermore, being based on mRNA, a genetic molecule, means that these cancer vaccines could be very versatile, and could be useful against even the rarest cancers by seeking out their particular genetic markers.

Donate to DCG Giving – Help Us Fund New Treatments to Save Kids’ Lives

You can be assured that your contribution to DCG Giving will do great things for children and teenagers with cancer in your local area and across the country. Our partners at COG are among the most highly-regarded pediatric cancer institutions anywhere, and they include hospitals and research initiatives whose research is helping achieve a world where every kid’s cancer can be cured. Please donate today – your gift is invaluable to thousands of children, teens, and families.