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Vaccines for cancer caused by some viruses already exist. But the search for a cure for cancer is ongoing. Scientists are now trialling mRNA cancer vaccines. efore the coronavirus, most people had never heard of mRNA vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 were the first to be used in humans. But the technology had been in development for years ― and among the diseases it was being tested on was cancer. In mid-June, BioNTech announced that the first patient had been treated in its BNT111 phase 2 cancer vaccine trial. The vaccine uses the same mRNA technology as the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. “Similar to the way an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 works, an mRNA cancer vaccine trains your immune system to recognize a certain protein on the surface of cancer cells,” said Anna Blakney, an assistant professor in the School of Biochemical Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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