“It simply came to our notice then [le cancer] is a very serious disease, we still have good news “Professor Fabrice André, director of research at the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), assured Franceinfo on Friday, June 3, as the world’s largest cancer congress opens in Chicago. “Today, it can be said that thanks to prevention, a number of cancers are likely to be eradicated.”he pointed it out.
Immunotherapy and more recently biotherapy allow better treatment of cancer patients by boosting their immune system. “Biotechnologies can often build drugs” which will allow “Either to reproduce or to activate the immune cell”. According to him, thanks to this new progress, “The field of possibilities is infinite”.
franceinfo: Can we say that we are treating more and more cancers?
Fabrice André: Although it is a very serious disease, we still have good news. First of all, regarding screening and prevention. For example, in Australia, they are considering eradicating cervical cancer through human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. It’s absolutely major. Advances in immunotherapy and more and more therapeutic biotechnologies are also advancing, that is, researchers are building drugs, much like building sets.
Are cancers on the verge of extinction in some countries?
Today, it can be said that, thanks to prevention, a number of cancers are likely to be eradicated.
It took less than a year to find a vaccine against Covid-19. Will there ever be vaccines against all cancers?
We don’t like to say “everyone” but today we think, thanks to new technologies, that we can actually move towards cancer care vaccines that will be more personal for a part of the population.
Will it be thanks to RNA technology?
At the very beginning, RNA technology is made for the cancer vaccine. There have indeed been clinical studies in these there are few reductions in tumor size. The difficulty with these vaccines is finding the right RNA to put in place to generate an immune response.
Is the systematic screening of smokers and ex-smokers a hopeful path?
It is absolutely transformative. Large comparative clinical studies have been done, especially in Europe, and show that it has significantly reduced lung cancer mortality by about 20 to 30%. But the issue now is mostly implementation. We make discoveries, we validate them. Afterwards, they must be implemented on a territorial scale.
After immunotherapy, boost your immune system to get rid of cancer cells, nowadays with biotherapy. What exactly is it?
First, a little cocorico. There are three immunotherapies for cancer. It heals hundreds of thousands of people a year. Two are from public research in France. When people donate to foundations, it makes discoveries. The goal is to activate the immune system to destroy the cancer cell. There are drugs that already exist, these are called antibodies. This is what is produced naturally against infections. It is therefore diverted to enhance the activation of the immune system.
There are also things that happen, like rebuilding cells to inject them into the patient. These cells will kill the cancer. Then biotechnologists can build drugs that will either replicate the immune cell or activate that immune cell. In short, the field of possibilities is infinite when we start talking about construction, the synthesis of new molecules.