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Dendritic cells vaccine

Vaccines are medicines that boost the immune system’s natural ability to protect the body against “foreign invaders,” mainly infectious agents, that may cause disease.

The immune system is a complex network of organs, tissues, and specialized cells that act collectively to defend the body. When an infectious microbe invades the body, the immune system recognizes it as foreign, destroys it, and “remembers” it to prevent another infection should the microbe invade the body again in the future. Vaccines take advantage of this response.

We take the time to listen, to provide you the best care !

Traditional vaccines usually contain harmless versions of microbes—killed or weakened microbes, or parts of microbes—that do not cause disease but are able to stimulate an immune response against the microbes. When the immune system encounters these substances through vaccination, it responds to them, eliminates them from the body, and develops a memory of them. This vaccine-induced memory enables the immune system to act quickly to protect the body if it becomes infected by the same microbes in the future.

The immune system’s role in defending against disease-causing microbes has long been recognized. Scientists have also discovered that the immune system can protect the body against threats posed by certain damaged, diseased, or abnormal cells, including cancer cells.

How do vaccines stimulate the immune system ?

White blood cells, or leukocytes, play the main role in immune responses. These cells carry out the many tasks required to protect the body against disease-causing microbes and abnormal cells.

Some types of leukocytes patrol the circulation, seeking foreign invaders and diseased, damaged, or dead cells. These white blood cells provide a general—or nonspecific—level of immune protection.

Other types of leukocytes, known as lymphocytes, provide targeted protection against specific threats, whether from a specific microbe or a diseased or abnormal cell. The most important groups of lymphocytes responsible for carrying out immune responses against such threats are B cells and cytotoxic (cell-killing) T cells.

B cells make antibodies, which are large secreted proteins that bind to, inactivate, and help destroy foreign invaders or abnormal cells. Most preventive vaccines, including those aimed at hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), stimulate the production of antibodies that bind to specific, targeted microbes and block their ability to cause infection. Cytotoxic T cells, which are also known as killer T cells, kill infected or abnormal cells by releasing toxic chemicals or by prompting the cells to self-destruct (a process known as apoptosis).

Other types of lymphocytes and leukocytes play supporting roles to ensure that B cells and killer T cells do their jobs effectively. These supporting cells include helper T cells and dendritic cells, which help activate killer T cells and enable them to recognize specific threats.

Cancer treatment vaccines are designed to work by activating B cells and killer T cells and directing them to recognize and act against specific types of cancer. They do this by introducing one or more molecules known as antigens into the body, usually by injection. An antigen is a substance that stimulates a specific immune response. An antigen can be a protein or another type of molecule found on the surface of or inside a cell.

Microbes are recognized by the immune system as a potential threat that should be destroyed because they carry foreign or “non-self” antigens. In contrast, normal cells in the body have antigens that identify them as “self.” Self antigens tell the immune system that normal cells are not a threat and should be ignored.

Cancer cells can carry both self antigens and cancer-associated antigens. The cancer-associated antigens mark the cancer cells as abnormal, or foreign, and can cause B cells and killer T cells to mount an attack against them.

Cancer cells may also make much larger amounts of certain self antigens than normal cells. Because of their high abundance, these self antigens may be viewed by the immune system as being foreign and, therefore, may trigger an immune response against the cancer cells.

What are vaccines ?

Vaccines are medicines that boost the immune system’s natural ability to protect the body against “foreign invaders,” mainly infectious agents, that may cause disease.

The immune system is a complex network of organs, tissues, and specialized cells that act collectively to defend the body. When an infectious microbe invades the body, the immune system recognizes it as foreign, destroys it, and “remembers” it to prevent another infection should the microbe invade the body again in the future. Vaccines take advantage of this response.

Traditional vaccines usually contain harmless versions of microbes—killed or weakened microbes, or parts of microbes—that do not cause disease but are able to stimulate an immune response against the microbes. When the immune system encounters these substances through vaccination, it responds to them, eliminates them from the body, and develops a memory of them. This vaccine-induced memory enables the immune system to act quickly to protect the body if it becomes infected by the same microbes in the future.

The immune system’s role in defending against disease-causing microbes has long been recognized. Scientists have also discovered that the immune system can protect the body against threats posed by certain damaged, diseased, or abnormal cells, including cancer cells.

We take the time to listen, to provide you the best care !

What types of vaccines are being studied in clinical trials ?

Vaccines to prevent HPV infection and to treat several types of cancer are being studied in clinical trials.

The list below shows the types of cancer that are being targeted in active cancer prevention or treatment clinical trials using vaccines. If you are accessing this fact sheet online, the cancer names are links to search results from NCI’s clinical trials database.

Active Clinical Trials of Cancer Treatment Vaccines by Type of Cancer :

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Brain Tumors
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Solid Tumors

Active Clinical Trials of Cancer Preventive Vaccines by Type of Cancer :

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Solid Tumors
Do cancer vaccines have side effects?

Vaccines intended to prevent or treat cancer appear to have safety profiles comparable to those of traditional vaccines. However, the side effects of cancer vaccines can vary among vaccine formulations and from one person to another.

The most commonly reported side effect of cancer vaccines is inflammation at the site of injection, including redness, pain, swelling, warming of the skin, itchiness, and occasionally a rash.

People sometimes experience flu-like symptoms after receiving a cancer vaccine, including fever, chills, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, muscle ache, fatigue, headache, and occasional breathing difficulties. Blood pressure may also be affected.

Other, more serious health problems have been reported in smaller numbers of people after receiving a cancer vaccine. These problems may or may not have been caused by the vaccine. The reported problems have included asthma, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and certain autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Vaccines, like any other medication affecting the immune system, can cause adverse effects that may prove life threatening. For example, severe hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions to specific vaccine ingredients have occurred following vaccination. However, such severe reactions are quite rare.

© www.cancer.org

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