One of the main ways cancer is able to develop is by hiding or evading our immune system which usually detects and kills potential tumor cells. Once cancer has developed the ability to evade the immune system it can continue to grow and become a tumor. One potential strategy currently being researched, called immunotherapy, uses viruses to stimulate an immune response which attacks the tumor.
Imvamune is a live, non-replicating virus used in Canada to vaccinate adults and children against smallpox. It is safe to use in immunosuppressed patients because the virus is unable to replicate and spread past the first infected cell. This makes the Imvamune vaccine a viable candidate for immunotherapy in immunosuppressed patients who are at a much higher (up to 60x) risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers.