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Scientists around the globe work hard on creation of anti-AIDS and anti-cancer vaccines

07.10.2005
 

Researchers in different parts of the world are striving to produce a vaccine against AIDS

Many generations of oncologists dreamed of creating a vaccine against cancer. Today a vaccine no longer seems to be part of some sci-fi story. On Monday this week international congress "Immunity and diseases: from theory to practice" went under way in Moscow. Several groups of researchers from various countries announced that they were working on an anticancer vaccine.

These days a number of countries with the powerful pharmaceutical industries are actively involved in a quest for a vaccine to prevent some dangerous diseases including cardiovascular conditions.

Researchers in different parts of the world are striving to produce a vaccine against AIDS. About 50 preparations have already undergone clinical trials so far. Doctors say that the most efficient remedy is yet to come.

Producing a vaccine against cancer is also extremely important. The subject – treatment of oncological diseases – seems to be holding the spotlight at the Moscow congress.

“Now we are working on a medicine against cancer that would help patients at the first stage of the disease when normal cells transform into cancer cells,” said Professor Rona Apte from Israel, head of department of microbiology and immunology of Ben-Gurion University. “Our preparation is based on interleukin 1, a blocking agent of the natural hormone of inflammation. Interleukin belongs to a family of proteins that control some aspects of hemopoiesis and the immune response. We found out that interleukin is engaged in the formation of tumor cells. A series of experiments conducted on mice showed that an artificially developed tumor grows a lot faster in mice injected with interleukin. In other words, the experiments brought forth irrefutable evidence that tumor cells need interleukin for survival and development,” said Mr. Apte.

According to him, Israeli specialists are planning to start a clinical trial of the new medicine. Human volunteers will be involved in the trial. However, researchers should lower the toxic effect of the medicine first.

It is noteworthy that Russian researchers are trying to keep up with their foreign colleagues. “We focus our efforts on the search of a medicine that could effectively combat cancer even on the third stage of its development featuring metastases,” said Michael Shurin, Vice President of the Russian Association of Clinical Specialists in Allergy and Immunology. “Every human being develops tumor cells, and those cells are destroyed by the immune system in some people while the immune system of other people fails to kill them. Searching for answers we examined the interrelationship between the normal cells and cancer cells, we deciphered the principle of tumor growth and produced several preparations. According to Mr. Shurin, the new preparations will be soon tested in clinical conditions.

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