A new study published in the journal Lancet Oncology suggests that researchers may be close to developing a vaccine that could make body's own immune system to attack the most common type of lung cancer.
The vaccine, known as TG4010, is made up of a modified form of pox virus and has been developed by researchers at University of Strasbourg. Trials have been conducted on 148 patients and while the vaccine does show promise, experts believe that its effect on the survival chances was limited.
According to the trials, while the six month progression free survival period in patients who were vaccinated by TG4010 was 43 percent, compared to 35 percent among chemotherapy patients, its overall survival period was 10.7 months. This was only marginally higher than the 10.3 months in chemotherapy patients.
Cancer Research UK's Professor Peter Johnson said that more research was needed to ascertain the effect on the overall survival chances. "This early-stage study shows that combining a vaccine with chemotherapy is possible, and may have some benefits for some people with lung cancer. But this study leaves a lot of unanswered questions - further research is needed to see whether the vaccine will actually improve survival for lung cancer patients", he said.