Professor Maria Kavallaris looks into how COVID technology can lead to new cancer cures


mRNA vaccines have been a game changer for COVID-19 and now, according to The Daily Telegraph, this new technology can also be applied to vaccines for cancer, pre-eclampsia and even cures for genetic disorders.

In fact, there are at least six mRNA vaccines against influenza and HIV already in the pipeline, as well as for Nipah, zika, herpes, dengue, hepatitis and malaria.

Professor Maria Kavallaris from the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) told the newspaper, mRNA was the future for the treatment for cancer as well.

READ MORE: Professor Maria Kavallaris’ cancer battle at age 21 has inspired her childhood cancer research.

Professor Maria Kavallaris.

“We know some tumour cells abnormally express — let’s call them little flags on their surface,” Professor Kavallaris said.

“They are not flags, but receptors on the cell surface and these are unique to certain types of cancer cells. So, if you have vaccine therapy, immune cells recognise this rogue surface receptor, the cancer cells, and the immune system can go and attack that cancer cell.

READ MORE: Cancer researcher Maria Kavallaris among Eureka Prize finalists.

“With a vaccine you are stimulating the immune system to go and kill that cancer. The reason we get cancer is because cancer cells find ways to evade the immune system, so they are not seen. This is a way to be seen by the immune cells.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph.

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