Messenger RNA (mRNA), the naturally occurring molecule honed over thousands of years of evolution to translate accurately and efficiently the information encoded in a cell's DNA into the proteins essential for maintaining cell function and ensuring an organism’s survival, will revolutionise the biopharmaceutical industry.
Over the years, influenza has taken the lives of millions. While vaccines are helping to reduce the damage caused by the virus, there is still a major capacity shortfall. Could access to US and European expertise and quality training improve capacity and prevent the next pandemic?
The excitement over the past 30 years for immunotherapy of cancer and other diseases has not led to the expected clinical successes. Over-enthusiasts predicted a cure for cancer with the initial development of monoclonal antibody technology, and later the �magic bullets� or toxin-labelled antibodies. Identification of proteins restricted to, or at least overexpressed in tumours has also led to disappointing clinical results. The main barriers have been a lack of immunological understanding of the processes at work, eg immune tolerance. Advances in our understanding of how to induce strong immune responses and how to manipulate the immune system to avoid immunological tolerance have opened the way for emerging therapeutic vaccinations in the treatment of not only cancer, but other diseases as well. This review will focus on immunotherapy for cancer and chronic human diseases characterised by the altered expression of self-proteins.
Every year, vaccines save millions of lives by preventing major human diseases, protecting individuals and those close to them, and offering widespread public defence against disease.
Human beings have benefited from vaccines for more than two centuries. From eradicating some of the deadliest diseases to nearly eliminating a host of others, including polio, measles, mumps and tetanus - vaccines are one of the world's greatest lifesavers.