Since time immemorial, no such disease has challenged scientists and medical practitioners the way cancer does. Deadly and dangerous, it is one disease feared by many.
In spite of that, doctors have been doing their best searching for cancer vaccines. With the exception of cervical cancer, clinical tests are being done in efforts to formulate the most effective of these possible cancer vaccines.
For quite some time now, scientists have embarked on a comprehensive study on creating cancer vaccines using the person’s immune system.
This is a truly novel idea, which capitalizes on the immune system’s absence of evolutionary pressure to produce anticancer effectors especially during old age when cancer strikes the most.
Yet, some laboratory findings would support that the human body’s immune system has the capacity to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Indeed, our immune system is a powerhouse of disease-fighting elements!
Quite interestingly, certain soluble effectors of the immune system like the antibodies have been proven to fight off lymphomas.
Conclusively, our immune system may not only be able to produce pathogens to arrest infectious diseases but it also has the capacity to destroy cancer cells as well. With this recent finding, the idea of cancer vaccines is no longer remote.
Positive as it may seem, coming up with cancer vaccines is no joke. Its complexities may be simplified by following a four step scenario:
- Tumor-specific effector cells must be activated and expanded
- Effector cells must migrate to the tumor site
- Recognition of tumor cells by the effector cell
- Destruction of tumor cells by the effector cells.
Furthermore, it is important that a quantitative balance must exist between the tumor cells and effector cells before a tumor is destroyed. The most successful cancer vaccination can only be achieved if the above steps will be thoroughly investigated and controlled.
In our immune system, scientists found out that the most effective effectors of cancer cell are the cytotoxic T cells.
However, more research has to be done until cancer vaccines are developed. Scientists have admitted that they have very limited insights on the molecular nature of induced immune responses.
They are also confronted with a shortage in the facilities of discriminating whether a particular T cell response is curative or non-curative. They also added that they experience uncertainties concerning the frequency of tumor antigen-specific T cells that is necessary for tumor destruction.
Henceforth, we can conclude that cancer vaccines can only be invented and formulated when new and cutting-edge developments that will aid in the monitoring and understanding of tumor-specific response become available.
Also needed are small innovative pilot vaccine trials that will test the potency of these potential cancer vaccines.
A dearth in laboratory conceived cancer vaccines should not get us frustrated. We can get ourselves protected through natural means by eating the right kind of food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Considered as natural cancer vaccines, let us feast on whole grains, beans, fruits, and green and leafy vegetables to keep our immune system stronger.