Melanoma vaccine lowers death, reoccurrence risk by 49 per cent, trial finds

Melanoma vaccine lowers death, reoccurrence risk by 49 per cent, trial finds

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A melanoma vaccine has been found to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence or death by 49 per cent over three years, researchers have found.

The results of the vaccine trial are being presented at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

The vaccine, called mRNA-4157 (V940), was developed by Moderna and was given to patients in the trial in combination with an immunotherapy drug called Keytruda.

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The results showed that the 2.5-year recurrence-free survival rate for the vaccine in combination with Keytruda was 74.8 per cent, compared to 55.6 per cent for Keytruda alone.

“Importantly, this benefit was observed across various patient exploratory subgroups, reflecting the potential of mRNA-4157 (V940) for a broad range of these patients,” said Moderna senior vice president Dr Kyle Holen said.

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“We are dedicated to harnessing mRNA technology to potentially transform cancer therapy and improve patient outcomes.”

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Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world.

Government organisation Cancer Australia estimated melanoma diagnoses would make up about 11 per cent of all cancer cases in 2023.

That translates to an estimated 18,257 melanoma cases – 10,639 males and 7618 females.

Of those, an estimated 1314 people will die.

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