Immunizing not only for viral disease prevention but also cancer recurrence prevention

Immunizing not only for viral disease prevention but also cancer recurrence prevention

World Immunization Week 2021

No doubt that this year’s World Immunization Week follows up on a milestone in the history of mankind where a collective effort to prevent a global pandemic from escalating has been seen.

The scientific developments are of great importance and their value will unveil within the next couple of years. In the meantime, we are also increasingly seeing other effects of immunization on a population level that give us hope for “accidental” benefits. Off-the-shelf vaccines for prevention of infectious diseases are now increasingly being investigated for having a cancer-preventive effect.

At Center for Surgical Science, we are privileged to have collaborative partners that have been at the forefront of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, such as Professor Ali Salanti from the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at University of Copenhagen. Through understanding the effects of the vaccines, we are trying to implement other approaches to harvest any potential benefits of vaccines in the fight against cancer. At CSS we are currently investigating interventions aiming towards improving both the systemic and local tumoral immune response such as intratumoral influenza vaccination, systemic interferon alfa treatment, metformin treatment, prehabilitation, and electroporation. With a recent grant from the Novo Nordisk foundation, Ali Salanti’s and our group have also now started a tandem collaboration for development of a bispecific vaccine directed towards colorectal cancer focusing on stage IV and micrometastatic disease.

Prof. Ali Salanti’s group visit to Zealand University Hospital and the newly established research laboratory.

In the next couple of years, we are hoping to create the necessary evidence through further translational collaborations to tailor multimodal interventions in the perioperative period for preventing cancer recurrence after surgery. In these efforts, it is our expectation that we can continue the process of treating oncological diseases, where the only current treatment is surgery, to ideally a situation where the patients’ own immune system is eradicating the cancer and, thus, removing the need for surgery. Another consequence may be that patients with stage IV disease, where palliative oncological therapy is the only current option, are modulated through surgical and immunotherapeutic interventions and ideally be candidates for curative surgery. The immunization approach is of outmost importance in this endeavor.

We celebrate the World Immunization Week and are looking forward with great anticipation to scientific results in this field.