British experts are positive about an experimental colorectal cancer vaccine created to use the body’s immune system.
Immunologist Lindy Durrant, University of Nottingham in England, who developed the vaccine said, “This is the first vaccine shown to stimulate … an immune-system protein that is very effective at killing cancer cells.”
Apparently the vaccine uses antibodies cloned from a patient with advanced colorectal cancer who survived longer than expected.
When given to 67 colorectal cancer patients, the vaccine stimulated immune responses in 70 percent of the participants, researchers say. The vaccine was designed to work by stimulating the production of immune cells called T-cells, which then produce immune system proteins called cytokines that destroy cancer cells.
Of the patients treated repeatedly with the experimental vaccine, only over two-thirds appeared to show measurable immune responses. Nineteen patients died during two years of follow-up; however researchers said the trial was not designed to study the vaccine’s effect on survival.
The findings were published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.