WATCH: Putin Says Russia's Race For Cancer Vaccines Nears Finish Line

By Alan Hume | Thursday, 15 February 2024 09:20 PM
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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that Russian scientists are on the verge of developing cancer vaccines that could soon be accessible to patients.

Speaking at a Moscow forum on future technologies, Putin stated, "We have come very close to the creation of so-called cancer vaccines and immunomodulatory drugs of a new generation." He expressed hope that these treatments would soon be utilized as effective methods of individual therapy. However, Putin did not provide specific details regarding the types of cancer the proposed vaccines would target or the mechanisms by which they would operate.

Numerous countries and companies are actively engaged in the development of cancer vaccines. Last year, the UK government partnered with Germany-based BioNTech to initiate clinical trials for personalized cancer treatments, with the goal of reaching 10,000 patients by 2030. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Merck & Co are currently working on an experimental cancer vaccine. A mid-stage study demonstrated that this vaccine reduced the likelihood of recurrence or death from melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, by 50% after three years of treatment.

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The World Health Organization reports that there are currently six licensed vaccines available for human papillomaviruses (HPV), which are responsible for numerous cancers, including cervical cancer. Furthermore, vaccines against hepatitis B (HBV), a virus that can lead to liver cancer, are also available.

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Russia gained international attention during the COVID-19 pandemic for developing its own vaccine, Sputnik V, and exporting it to various countries. However, domestically, the vaccine faced significant public skepticism. In an effort to instill confidence in its efficacy and safety, Putin publicly disclosed that he himself had received the Sputnik V vaccine.

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