How mRNA technology can combat diseases

How mRNA technology can combat diseases

How mRNA technology can combat diseasesmRNA research: the technology was known by the corona vaccines from biontech and moderna. (source: mongkolchon Akesin/Getty images)not only does it offer real chances for the corona vaccines: mRNA technology. How does the method work and what diseases could it help in future?

MRNA technology is a rather young method in medical and vaccine research. A advantage: mRNA vaccines are easy to produce. The use of mRNA vaccines is of great importance not only in the fight against Covid-19.

MRNA vaccines contain the construction instructions of the antigen, against which the body is to build up an immune response, in the form of messenger RNA (mrna, measuring rna.) This construction plan is enveloped by lipid substances, so-called mRNA lipid nanoparticles. The body cells use the installed design to produce the specific antigen itself.

Thereby the immune system gets to know the antigen and can develop a corresponding immune response. The origins of the newly developed vaccine method are in cancer research. Dr. uğur şahin from university medicine mainz has been working in cancer research for many years.

His research focus is on developing individualized therapies against cancer and other diseases. He founded the tron – translational oncology at the university medicine of the johannes Gutenberg University mainz and the company biontech. “The task of the biopharmaceutical institute is to transfer innovative treatment methods from basic research into clinical application,” explains Dr. susanne Weg-Remers, head of the cancer information service (kid) at the German cancer research center (dkfz) in heidelberg.

(source: kid)dr. susanne Weg-Remers is head of the DKFZ-Krebsinformationsdienst at the German cancer research centre in heidelberg, which offers evidence-based, quality-secured cancer information for patients, members and the public.” Among other things, a whole series of different approaches in the field of immunotherapy in cancer is followed in the tron, including mRNA vaccine technology. With the help of mRNA technology, cancer researchers hope to sensitize the body’s defense system so that it can better distinguish between good and evil cells.

You look at the individual mutation situation of a patient’s tumor and examine whether a completely personal vakzin can be produced for this on the basis of mRNA technology – which is significantly more complex and expensive. “This is difficult, because more measuring rnas are not very stable molecules and are normally rapidly degraded by the body. The mrnas must be modified and packaged so that the body can work with them and form an immune response,” explains Weg-Remers.

For some years, first clinical studies are being carried out to combat cancer with the help of messenger rna. “These are still in a very early stage – they are Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies,” says the cancer expert. In biontech, for example, the mRNA method involves several studies, including black skin cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.”

“It can actually take years in clinical cancer research until unambiguous results are available – often five to ten years pass,” says Weg-Remers. “The research is also so long-term because cancer is a very individual disease and cancer cells are very adaptable and resistant.” According to the cancer expert, there are no clinical studies in which the mRNA vaccination is tested to prevent any tumors.

The care is still present in the population that mRNA vaccines can intervene in the genetic material of humans and possibly trigger changes or even mutations. For example, the robert Koch Institute (rki) explains with a view of the corona vaccinations that the mrna of the RNA vaccines is degraded from the cells after a short time. They are not converted into dna and have “no influence on the human dna, neither in body cells nor in germ cells.”

A mRNA vaccination cannot trigger the disease against which vaccination is carried out. In the case of mRNA vaccines against the coronavirus, no reproductive pathogens are sprayed. “the mRNA vaccination is a new vaccine method.

“the mRNA method makes it possible that only the proteins of the antigen to which an immune response is to be built are produced.” Success in reagent glass: mRNA vaccine against multiple sclerosisthe principle of mRNA vaccine is currently also being investigated in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (ms). So under the leadership of professor uğur şahin, the co-founder of biontech, scientists have succeeded in suppressing the escape of experimental autoimmune enzephalomyelitis with the help of a mRNA vaccine.

The experimental autoimmune enzephalomyelitis is an inflammatory disease comparable to the human multiple sclerosis of the central nervous system (zns.) Of the mRNA vaccine could mitigate or even reverse the disease course of the mice. Nevertheless: researching with mRNA vaccine makes MS encounters hope for future treatment methods.

In the field of other diseases, mRNA technology could offer opportunities in the future. “It is quite conceivable that mRNA liposome technology will play a role in combating other diseases, for example in other virus infections,” says Weg-Remers. “the economic principle may be transferred from corona to other virus diseases.