The immunizer is being tested in patients in the United Kingdom
researchers from University of Oxfordd, UK, founded the pharmaceutical company Oxford Vacmedix and are developing a vaccine for three types of cancer. The immunizer is designed to attack survivin, a protein released by cancer cells that prevents the body from fighting the disease.
According to the company, the vaccine was created from a synthetic version of the protein and should “teach” the body to recognize and attack tumors. Initially, the immunizer works in the fight prostate, lung and ovarian cancerbut it is hoped that if it proves effective against all three diseases, it could be used to help against all types of cancer.
This new method is being tested in 35 cancer volunteers in the UK. All receive three doses every two weeks, after which they are evaluated and monitored for another six months for tumor status and possible side effects.
While the results of the first tests are encouraging, researchers urge caution at this point. Because patients need to be monitored for a few months, experts can analyze how the immunizer affects the lives of the volunteers and the effectiveness of the vaccine.