Evolution and Progress of mRNA Vaccines in the Treatment of Melanoma: Future Prospects

Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Mar 13;11(3):636. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11030636.


mRNA vaccines encoding tumor antigens may be able to sensitize the immune system of the host against cancer cells, enhancing antigen presentation and immune response. Since the breakout of the COVID19 pandemic, interest in mRNA vaccines has been accelerating, as vaccination against the virus served as a measure to limit disease spread. Given that immunotherapy has been the cornerstone of melanoma treatment over the last several decades, further innate immunity enhancement by targeted mRNA vaccines could be the next pivotal achievement in melanoma treatment. Preclinical data coming from murine cancer models have already provided evidence of mRNA vaccines' ability to induce host immune responses against cancer. Moreover, specific immune responses have been observed in melanoma patients receiving mRNA vaccines, while the recent KEYNOTE-942 trial may establish the incorporation of the mRNA-4157/V940 vaccine into the melanoma treatment algorithm, in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition. As the existing data are further tested and reviewed, investigators are already gaining enthusiasm about this novel, promising pathway in cancer therapy.

Keywords: cancer; immunotherapy; mRNA; melanoma; vaccines.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.