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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Cancer vaccine from tumour cells

15th November 2007

Researchers in Canada have suggested that tissue samples taken directly from a patient's own tumour could be used to produce a vaccine against their own cancer.

cervical cancer

The vaccine, which would be triggered by exposure to light, comes under the class of treatments known as photodynamic therapy, or PDT, researchers reported in the British Journal of Cancer.

The team from the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver performed PDT on mouse tumour samples in the laboratory, then injected them back into the same mice.

The results were as good as using laboratory-cultivated cancer cells, but much quicker, according to the study. It had the additional advantage of allowing the treatment to home in on unique characteristics of the individual's tumour.

In theory, the research could pave the way for cancer treatments one day to be tailored to individual patients, because it is able to act against proteins specific to the tumour and capitalise on the increased immune response from cells used in the vaccine.

Senior author Mladen Korbelik said the findings were 'exciting', and could lead to faster treatments in future.

She said she was sure the technique could be advanced further to be even more potent and effective.

Experts said the research team had come up with an interesting application of PDT, which could lead to targeted treatments with fewer side effects.

Although this type of vaccine was in its early stages, developing existing techniques in this way could provide cancer patients with more effective treatments in the future, they added.


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