UK begins clinical trial for experimental mRNA therapy for cancer

Cancer patients in the UK are being given a new immunotherapy treatment at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as part of a global phase 1/2 clinical
trial, which aims to evaluate its safety and potential for treating ‘solid tumour’ cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer.

The experimental therapy, called mRNA-4359, has been designed to train patients’ immune systems to recognise and fight cancer cells, according to researchers
at Imperial College London.

For the first time in the UK, cancer patients received the treatment at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Imperial Clinical Research
Facility at Hammersmith Hospital.

In this non-randomised trial, mRNA-4359 is administered to patients either alone or in combination with an existing cancer drug called pembrolizumab, a type of
immune checkpoint inhibitor.

The researchers are hopeful that this new therapeutic approach, if proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials, could lead to a new treatment option for
difficult-to-treat cancers.