A British woman has reportedly become one of the first patients to receive a vaccine developed to resist cancer growth. The new vaccine reportedly trains the immune system to attack tumors where they grow throughout the body.
Kelly Potter, the patient, is one of the first of about 30 people receiving a trial cancer vaccine after being diagnosed with cervical cancer in July 2015, reports Independent.
The vaccine works by training the immune system to attack the part of cancer cells that allow them to replicate. The vaccine will be supplemented with lower doses of chemotherapy to allow the body to attack its own cancer cells.
“Although I had excellent treatment at Guy’s [and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Hospital] where the cancer was stabilized, it had already spread to spots on my liver and lungs. So when I was told that I may be eligible for this trial, I was delighted,” said Potter.
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Potter began the trial vaccine on Feb. 9.
“To be part of this trial has changed my life for the better. It’s been a very positive experience and really interesting. I feel honored to be involved. You get the best treatment anyway at Guy’s but it’s fantastic to be part of something that could be groundbreaking.”
Researchers working on the vaccine said that it injects an antigen into blood cells that directs the immune system to attack cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
“We know that the immune system in patients with advanced cancer is suppressed, so it’s unable to recognize and kill cancer cells,” said Hardev Pandah, a researcher at the University of Surrey.
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The new system of immunotherapy is becoming more mainstream in the push to develop a cure for cancer, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Researchers in the U.S. announced their optimism in February about results of the technique used to treat patients with blood cancers.