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Future Leukemia Vaccine

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Future Leukemia Vaccine

British researchers developing new leukemia vaccine…

A clinical trial that commenced over the New Year in Britain, hopes to further developed a new drug that has shown promise as an effective treatment in the battle against leukemia.

The patients in the trail, who will be treated at Kings College London, all have acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common form in adults. Even with aggressive treatment, at least half of patients usually find the disease returns.

Typically, cancer vaccines do not prevent the disease. Instead the vaccine is designed to hunt down and kill cancer cells in patients who have already developed the disease. It then prompts the immune system to recognize leukemia cells and kill them if they return, helping to fight off a relapse.

trails of new leukemia vaccine Future Leukemia Vaccine

Briton Trials New Leukemia Vaccine

The new vaccine works in much the same way, but is created by using the patients own blood then manipulating the cells in a laboratory. The cells are given two genes which act as flags to help identify the leukemia. This effectively focuses and boosts the immune systems ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

The study led by Professors Ghulam Mufti and Farzin Farzaneh and Dr Nicola Hardwick at University College London, has involved intricate work to develop a man-made virus, similar to HIV, which carries the two genes into the immune system.

Prof Farzaneh, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Kings College London, said if the trials are successful then it could rolled out to treat other leukemia’s and cancers.

It is the same concept as normal vaccines. The immune system is made to see something as foreign and can then destroy it itself. This has the chance to be curative.

The cost of treating each patient is thought to be around £15,000, about 10 per cent more than the standard treatment.

Dr David Grant, scientific director of the charity Leukemia Research, said:

Vaccines against cancer are becoming a very interesting area of research and can offer a very beneficial alternative to punishing chemotherapy…

However it is very early days and we need to see the results of these trials before we know if this potential is going too be realized.

The research is due to be published in the Journal of Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy shortly.


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