Could new research into melanoma be new hope for your patients?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting an mRNA-powered cancer vaccine from Moderna Inc. and Merck & Co., when combined with the immunotherapy Keytruda, kept more melanoma patients from relapsing than when Keytruda was used alone, a midstage trial showed. While more data is needed from larger-scale trials before the vaccine has a chance of coming to market, researchers are cautiously optimistic that the results present a significant development for the use of cancer vaccines to keep patients in remission.

The trial demonstrates progress in the pursuit of shots to ward off cancer by jump-starting the immune system.

About 79% of high-risk melanoma patients who got the personalized vaccine and Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda were alive and cancer-free at 18 months, compared with about 62% of patients who received immunotherapy alone, researchers said Sunday. The 157-person trial offers some of the strongest evidence yet that such vaccines could benefit cancer patients.

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