A vaccine against cancers caused by Lynch syndrome — an inherited disorder — will be among the first to test if a vaccine can stop nonviral cancers from appearing. The Lynch trial is among several looking to test a new generation of preventative cancer vaccines.
Recently, scientists have discovered that a type of immune cell known as a T cell is capable of recognizing the unique signatures of a tumor cell — and giving them the business.
Therapies designed to increase T cell’s killing power and ability to target cancer after it appears have already been approved, and they can be quite successful at treating some cancers. (More recent work is recruiting another type of immune cell, the awesomely named natural killer cells, to fight cancer.)