Trial launched for cancer ‘vaccine’
A new trial vaccine developed in the UK could help the body’s own defence fight off cancer.
The immunotherapy vaccine has already been given to two patients. The trial – called Vaper – is expected to last two years.
It is looking for people with solid tumours – regardless of the type of cancer – and who have also seen previous treatments fail.
Using the body’s immune system
The immune system in cancer patients becomes suppressed and is unable to recognise and kill cancer cells, says Professor Hardev Pandha, who is leading the trial at the Surrey Cancer Research Institute.
The trial hopes to activate the immune system with the vaccine, which is based on fragments of a key cancer protein.
It also involves an immunity-stimulating cream that is applied to the injection site to help the vaccine work more effectively.
On top of the injections, all patients will take low-dose chemotherapy tablets, while some will also have celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman says the trial pushes new boundaries and is part of the “ground-breaking work” going on in the UK.
Kelly Potter, 35, from Beckenham, is one of the first patients to undergo the treatment.
She was diagnosed with stage-four cervical cancer in July, and initially saw the cancer stabilise. But since then, it has spread.
Her first injection was administered on February 9 with seven further visits scheduled.
She hopes the new vaccine could be a “breakthrough” and a “revolution in the treatment of cancer”.