A clinical trial for a vaccine that could be an answer to preventing many forms of cancer relapse is likely to get underway this year. Oxford Biomedica, a biotech company from Oxford University will be conducting the trials for the vaccine TroVax.
Scientists at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester were the ones who initially touted the idea for this vaccine. They were puzzled as to why the immune system does not see cancer cells as foreign and kill them off.
"Unlike vaccinations for measles or mumps, patients having this treatment would need to have injections every one or two months because once the effect starts to diminish, you need to do it again. But we are hopeful that it can help people who may already have undergone surgery but where there is a danger of relapse," said Mike McDonald, chief medical officer of Oxford Biomedica.
"We know in colorectal cancer there is this danger because you get these deposits of small and isolated cells which have escaped, and are suitable for attack by the immune system."
Cancer vaccination is an exciting field ever since Merck and GlaxoSmithKiline announced success in a cervical cancer vaccine that is effective against human papilloma virus (HPV) .