Skin Implant Could Spell the End of Malignant Melanoma
Researchers at Harvard University who put forward a remarkable new treatment for skin cancer for clinical trials are now eagerly awaiting the results. The novel new technique involves using a tiny implant the size of a fingernail. The implant is placed beneath the patient’s skin and ‘instructs’ the body’s immune cells to target and kill cancer cells. This innovative new technology is just one of several revolutionary alternative cancer vaccine treatments under development.
The implant was first trialed by scientists in mice a number of years ago and the technique was now been perfected and approved for human trials in 2013. The implant targets melanoma – the most serious and deadly form of skin cancer. In their initial experiments researchers observed that half the mice used that were given two doses of vaccine demonstrated total regression of their cancer tumors.
The clever implant technology works like ordinary vaccines in that it helps the body’s immune system to identify and target early cancer cells. The research into this and other forms of cancer vaccines is still in its infancy, but it is hoped that many viable future treatments will emerge. The Harvard device could in fact herald the dawn of a new era in cancer treatment.
Phase 1 study results awaited
The Phase 1 human study which is intended to determine if the implant device is actually safe for clinical use should be completed later this year. Even if approval is gained and the trial is a success, it could be many years before the treatment is widely available to patients. Larger scale trials will be required to find out if the implant is effective and more successful than the treatments currently used but researchers are very hopeful.
Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer in humans and is currently treated surgically. The new implant vaccine could mean an end to misery for thousands of sufferers, and could finally see the defeat of another form of fatal cancer.
Image source: Harvard University
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk