In 2017, Vinod Balachandran published a paper in the science journal Nature explaining an interesting phenomenon that he had discovered in a tiny number of pancreatic cancer survivors. T-cells circulating in their blood had developed the ability to identify, remember and fight back against proteins in the deadly tumours.
The surgeon, from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, likened it to “auto-vaccination”. Balachandran described how actual vaccines using messenger RNA molecules could be used to replicate the response and give more patients the ability to defend themselves against the often fatal tumours.
His research caught the eye of a