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Cancer patients testing personalized vaccines in large study

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 22 days ago

A new type of cancer treatment using vaccines is being tested in England, with thousands of NHS cancer patients expected to participate in trials. The Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad matches patients with forthcoming trials using mRNA technology, similar to the technology used in current Covid vaccines.

Elliot Pfebve, 55, is the first patient to receive a personalized vaccine against bowel cancer in England. After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, Elliot received the vaccine at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The vaccine is designed to prime the immune system to recognize and destroy any remaining cancer cells, reducing the risk of the disease recurring.

The personalized cancer vaccine works by priming the immune system to target the patient’s specific cancer cells. Elliot’s tumor was sent to BioNTech’s labs in Germany where mutations specific to his cancer were identified. The vaccine, created using mRNA technology, contains instructions for Elliot’s cells to produce mutated proteins unique to his cancer cells. The goal is to train his immune system to seek out and destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Dr. Victoria Kunene, the trial’s principal investigator, expressed optimism about the potential of mRNA cancer treatment vaccines to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. However, it is important to note that these vaccines are still experimental and only available as part of clinical trials.

While the study is not expected to be completed until 2027, there is hope that these vaccines will produce fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy. Elliot reported only experiencing a mild fever following the injection with no other issues.

Overall, the development of personalized cancer vaccines using mRNA technology represents a potential new era in cancer treatment. The hope is that these vaccines will offer more effective ways to stop cancer from recurring in patients who have already undergone treatment.

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