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Personalized Cancer Vaccines Could Be Key Piece Of Cancer 'Moonshot'

A lab technician works at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Camaguey, Cuba on June 19, 2015. Cuban scientists are working on a vaccine for prostate cancer. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
A lab technician works at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Camaguey, Cuba on June 19, 2015. Cuban scientists are working on a vaccine for prostate cancer. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama said he wants to “make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

A key piece of that “moonshot” – as the president and vice president have called it – may be a treatment that’s still very much in the experimental phase: personalized cancer vaccines.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with STAT senior science writer Sharon Begley about how those personalized vaccines – called neoantigen vaccines – work, and why they could become a central player in the push to cure cancer.

Guest

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