Personalized mRNA Vaccine Reduces Risk of Melanoma Spread

Source: Cancer Health, June 2023

A customized messenger RNA (mRNA) cancer vaccine being developed by Moderna and Merck plus the checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) reduced the risk for metastasis in people with high-risk advanced melanoma, according to updated study results presented at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

Researchers reported that the vaccine, which is designed to teach an individual’s immune system to recognize and attack their specific cancer, lowered the risk for distant metastasis or death by 65%—exceeding the 44% reduction in disease recurrence recently reported at another conference.

“These results provide further evidence that a personalized neoantigen approach is potentially beneficial for cancer patients,” Adnan Khattak, MD, of One Clinical Research and Edith Cowan University in Australia, and colleagues concluded.