University of Cincinnati Cancer Center First in Midwest to Open Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial

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“There’s hardly any downside. These patients all get surgery and all get chemotherapy anyway,” Sohal said. “There’s no placebo (everyone knows what they are getting), and there’s no shortchanging them on standard treatment.” 

Sohal said any patient diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that can be treated with surgery and has not started any other treatments is eligible to enroll. The trial is aiming to enroll 260 patients across its sites globally, and Sohal said he hopes to enroll as many patients as possible in Cincinnati. 

Side effects of the vaccine reported in the Phase 1 trial were minimal and similar to those for COVID-19 vaccinations, including mild aches, chills and a mild fever. In the Phase 1 trial, Sohal said eight out of 32 patients were completely cured of their cancer.  

“That looks like a small number, but a 25% cure in pancreas cancer is much better than the current barely 5% cure,” he said. “So this can be game changing”  

Sohal said mRNA vaccines are opening an exciting new frontier for cancer treatment, as researchers are testing this method in a variety of cancers in addition to pancreatic cancer. 

“There are many opportunities, and this could certainly be the future of treating cancer,” he said. 

For more information on the trial, please call 513-584-7698 or email

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