Terminal cancer vaccine is trialled
A trial has been launched to test a new state-of-the-art vaccine for terminal cancer.
The immunotherapy trial will examine whether a vaccine is effective in stimulating the body's immune system to destroy cancerous cells.
Two patients have already received the vaccine as part of the project, which is expected to run for up to two years.
Immunotherapy is generating great interest in cancer research. In February experts in the US announced they had seen "extraordinary" results in early trials involving terminally ill patients with blood cancer.
The trial is for people with solid tumours and is recruiting those for whom other types of treatment have not worked. All patients with any solid tumour, irrespective of their type of cancer, are believed to have the potential to benefit from immunotherapy.
Professor Hardev Pandha, who is leading the trial at the Surrey Cancer Research Institute, said: "We know that the immune system in patients with advanced cancer is suppressed, so it's unable to recognise and kill cancer calls.
"In this trial we are investigating a form of immunotherapy designed to activate the body's immune system by administration of a vaccine based on fragments of a key cancer protein."
The new trial involves a vaccine and an immunity stimulating cream applied to the injection site to help the vaccine work better. Patients will also take low-dose chemotherapy tablets.