KRebs is one of the diseases that many people fear most. Such a diagnosis is associated with hopelessness and, depending on the type of tumor, the smell of death. In this respect, new news from oncology is not only eagerly absorbed by patients with great hope. All the more so as Corona has put a technology in the spotlight that opens up new perspectives: mRNA therapy, on which the Covid-19 vaccines from Moderna and BioNTech are also based.
In the case of Covid, mRNA vaccines work like this: They contain the blueprint for a certain virus component so that the immune system is ultimately activated and antibodies are formed. In the case of cancer vaccinations, it is not about viruses, but about tumor cells, i.e. degenerated cells. Just like in the case of Corona, the vaccine is supposed to enable one’s own defense system to recognize such cells and, for example, to fight them with antibodies. “It has to be said that the mRNA vaccine is not yet fully exploiting its strengths in Corona,” says Niels Halama, Head of the Translational Immunotherapy Department and Senior Physician and Head of the Adaptive Immunotherapy Research Group at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg. Because that lies in the fact that the sequence of the mRNA can be adapted individually. “The strategy of using the mRNA to give the body a message about what should be done, of course, has huge potential!”