This is more of a genuine curiosity question than anything, but how is it that we have developed a vaccine for feline Leukemia, but can’t develop vaccines for other cancers? (Both feline and human.)

scriptveterinarian:

We have a vaccine for Feline Leukemia virus, but admittedly it’s not our best vaccine. There are some retroviruses in cats, like this one, that can manifest as cancers. The vaccine in this case targets the virus, not the cancer.

A similar thing in humans developed recently is the
human papillomavirus

vaccine, which targets the virus associated with many cervical cancers.

And we sort of can develop vaccines against other cancers, but they have to be made on an individual basis. Autologous tumor cell vaccines involve taking cells from somebody’s cancer, processing them into a vaccine, and then vaccinating the patient with it. The aim of this therapy is to stimulate the patient’s immune system against their own cancer.

This is a useful launching point for science fiction, but is a little beyond the scope of this blog.

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