In a recent publication in Nature Reviews Cancer, researchers provided information about in vitro–transcribed, mRNA-based therapeutics for cancer treatment, including the features of the various types of synthetic mRNA, the packaging systems for efficient mRNA delivery, preclinical and clinical studies, current challenges, and future projections in the field.

The authors noted that in recent years since mRNA technology permits the manufacture of diverse vaccines and treatments in a briefer time frame and with diminished expense compared with conventional approaches, there has been tremendous development and progress with regard to the utilization of mRNA-based therapeutics.

The authors wrote, “In this review, we provide an overview of recent innovations in mRNA nanotherapeutics that have been included in preclinical and clinical studies against cancer. We overview the use of mRNA for encoding tumor antigens, cytokines, tumor suppressors, receptors for T cell engineering, and proteins for genome editing. We also provide insight into the future of mRNA use in cancer treatment and the necessary developments in this research area.”

The authors noted that due to the mounting evidence supporting the effectiveness and safety of clinically approved mRNA vaccines, united with increasing interest in mRNA-based therapeutics, mRNA technology will likely become one of the most promising and primary technologies researched for drug development for oncology therapeutics.

The authors also indicated that the remarkable technological advancements in mRNA-based nanotechnology have resulted in the development of innovative treatments for various diseases, particularly in cancer therapeutics, and these advancements allow efficient mRNA translation to yield functional proteins that can directly control tumor progression or activate and strengthen immune responses.

The authors concluded, “We anticipate that the current success of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines, together with the cumulative understanding of tumorigenesis and resistance to therapy, will yield significant advancements for mRNA technology against cancer.”

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