Review Nepal News

An inclusive cancer vaccine: Hoping against hope
  Kathmandu      June 07 2024

Nava Thakuria

Russian President Vladimir Putin, while speaking at a recent function in Moscow, announced that his country was waiting for the launch of cancer vaccines. Putin, globally condemned for invasion on Ukraine resulting many casualties and enormous property damages, announced that significant progress has been made by the Russian scientific fraternity to develop the important vaccines. The hardliner Russian leader expressed optimism that they have almost reached a significant phase for developing cancer vaccines and immunomodulatory drugs. He also hoped that these advancements will transition the way to approach the health disaster, but  Putin did not reveal any specific information about the type of cancer vaccines, he mentioned. 

According to the medical experts, cancer is a disease where some of the body cells grow unusually. The human cells grow and multiply under the process of cell division. When the cells  grow old or damage for any reason, new cells replace those. Sometimes this order can be disturbed and thus an  abnormal growth of cells takes place. Cancer can start anywhere in the body and spread to other parts. The vaccines help a human body to fight against cancerous cells improving the immunity. The vaccines can prevent a healthy person from getting  certain cancers and also sometimes help treating the deadly disease by destroying harmful cancer cells

Many advanced countries across the globe, including Bharat, have been working to find the effective cancer medicine and also vaccines for decades. World Health Organization (WHO) in its report confirmed the availability of at least six licensed vaccines targeting human papillomaviruses (HPV, that causes cervical cancer) and hepatitis B (that may lead to liver cancer). Incidentally cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world, where as it's ranked as the most frequent cancer among Indian women.  To fight against this type of cancer, Indian scientists had developed Cervavac as a preventive measure to save millions of lives. The vaccine, launched by the Serum Institute of India indigenously, after rigorous research, clinical trials and necessary regulatory approvals, has been approved by the central government. New Delhi has also committed its support for the country's first cervical cancer vaccination process.

Cancer is almost a curse for a family in our society. Assamese plays, cinemas, stories and media articles have depicted the painful disease as another name of death often dialoguing as cancer has no answer. So if any individual is diagnosed with cancer, irrespective of its stages, the family instantly presume a dark future as the treatment remains so expensive. However, the practicing doctors always encourage the patients (also the affected families) to face the disease bravely. They argue that with early detection and proper treatment, cancer can be cured fully if the patient adopts medication with a positive outlook enriched with regular physical activities.

India continues to increase the number of cancer affected families.  Now the projected number of cancer cases in India is estimated to be  15.7 lakh by next year. Northeast is also not legging behind, as our region increases cancer cases every year and by 2025 it may  witness another  57,131 new cases. Indian Council of Medical Research reported that our region faces a high burden of cancer compared to other parts of the country. The highest cancer incidence rate among the males was recorded in Aizawl and among females in Papumpare.  The tobacco-related cancer cases remain  higher in the region. Any comprehensive vaccine for cancer will be a priceless gift for 60 million people living in the region, adjacent to Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and Bangladesh.  

Sometimes cancer is termed as a huge global scam too as many enthusiasts believe that the scientific community possesses the capability to develop a comprehensive cancer vaccine, but often faces distractions from powerful beneficiaries of the scam including pharmaceutical companies, private hospitals, adorable doctors etc. Needless to mention, if the vaccination process becomes feasible and effective, those beneficiaries would  lose their business empire amounting a huge volume of money. Now when Putin, already identified as an arrogant & authoritarian leader, declares the last-phase invention of cancer vaccines by the Russian scientists, it has the potentiality to change the global healthcare scenario.

Like many other politicians in power, Putin may not bother about the hurdles & complications facing after the invention and marketing of cancer vaccines, as he would prefer to improve his image from an invader to a humanitarian crusader. If the Russian cancer vaccine comes into  reality, Putin will be the beneficiary number one out of the process.

Nonetheless, an inclusive cancer vaccine should emerge out of all technical hitches & complexities so that the human sufferings from the disease can be minimised if not completely erased in our life time.