US researchers have begun testing a vaccination that will keep people from developing pancreatic cancer in a major development.
According to the Daily Mail, a team at Johns Hopkins University in the United States gave the first preventive vaccine to a lady with a family history of the disease. They plan to recruit 25 healthy individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer.
Experts estimate that more than 90% of pancreaticcancer cases arise when cells in the organ have a mutation to a gene called KRAS. The mutation causes uncontrolled cell division, which leads to cancer.
While some people are more susceptible to the KRAS mutation than others, experts believe that pancreaticcancer can be avoided by removing cells that have the faulty gene.
The new vaccine works in the same way.
It can provide the human body with tools for detecting renegade cells that can turn malignant in the long term. According to the paper, the immune system can then conduct preemptive ‘search and destroy’ operations to nip the problem in the bud.
Pancreatic cancer survival rates have been persistently dismal, with three-quarters of patients dying within a year of diagnosis.