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Biontech reports "exceedingly promising" early results from experimental mRNA pancreatic cancer treatment

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Scientific journal Nature on Wednesday said a personalised treatment based on messenger RNA by BioNTech potentially bodes well for the future of fighting an extremely aggressive form of cancer after the regimen was shown to trigger a promising immune reaction in some pancreatic cancer patients.



Results of a trial in the first phase of testing on humans showed that half of the 16 trial participants, who had undergone surgery to remove their tumour, had developed T cells that can potentially recognise cancerous cells and stop them from re-emerging, Nature said in a paper on Wednesday.



"These data are exceedingly promising, and will provide the framework for a planned further clinical trial," the News & Views editorial segment of Nature said, citing the severity of the disease.


Why this treatment could be huge, if it pans out:



The trial focused on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which accounts for more than 90% of pancreatic cancer cases. Only about 10% of PDAC patients are alive within two years of diagnosis.


The important part:



Among the eight trial participants with a detectable immune response, there was no evidence of cancer recurrence 18 months after surgery, while the median time to recurrence was 13.4 months among the non-responders.


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