29th July 2020
Scientists, funded by your kindness, are ready to start clinical trials for a new cancer vaccine thanks to a recent research breakthrough. The team, led by Associate Professor Kristen Radford in Queensland, Australia, hope that they will be able to begin clinical trials within the next three years.
The vaccine works not by preventing the development of cancer, but as a treatment - priming the immune system to recognise a molecule called WT1, which is commonly found in many types of blood cancer. The hope is that once primed to recognise these cancer cells, the immune system will turn on them and eradicate them like it would a bacteria or virus.
The researchers say that the vaccine could be used to treat myeloid leukaemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and paediatric leukaemias, plus solid malignancies including breast, lung, renal, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, and glioblastoma.
“There are poor outcomes and few treatment options for many advanced cancer patients,” said Dr Radford. “Immunotherapy is one of the most promising and effective treatments but only works for a fraction of patients. Boosting immune responses via vaccines such as ours will hopefully help to make existing treatments more effective without serious side effects and improve patient outcomes.”
“Our vaccine now needs to be manufactured into a format that is suitable for administration to patients and this product will require further validation for safety and efficacy in the lab.”
This research was made possible thanks to your generosity as well as funding from the Mater Foundation in Australia. Dr Radford said, “To all the people that give so generously to charities like Worldwide Cancer Research I want to say a huge thank you! Pushing the boundaries of science is the only way we will beat this disease and your support plays a vital role in making this happen.”