Oxford University scientists are looking for volunteers to take part in their clinical trial to test a new vaccine against prostate cancer. The clinical trial is performed at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.
The research team will vaccinate 48 men with low or intermediate risk prostate cancer in an initial study led by Professor Freddie Hamdy in Oxford and Professor Jim Catto in Sheffield, according to News Medical. The scientists will measure how well the immune system responds to the new vaccine and document its safety. In case that the initial clinical trial will be successful, then some future larger-scale studies will have to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine.
A senior investigator on the trial from the Jenner Institute, Dr Irina Redchenko, explained that in case the immune system does not recognize the cancer cells as foreign, cancers can spread in the body. However, with the right type of vaccine, the body can be helped to recognize, attack and destroy the cancer cells.
At Oxford, an immunization approach has been developed for preventive vaccination. This vaccine technology has been previously found to be very effective for inducing strong cellular immunity to prevent other diseases such as Ebola, HIV and malaria. This technology is being assessed in this clinical trial for the first time as a cancer vaccine therapy.
According to the University of Oxford's press release on EurekaAlert!, the vaccines aim to make the immune system recognize the protein called 5T4, found on the surface of cancer cells. Tests have been already evaluated the MVA vaccine vector in over 500 cancer patients. The other vaccine component is called ChAdOx1.5T4. This is a new agent developed in Oxford, tested for the first time in people.
Professor Adrian Hill, head of the Jenner Institute, declared that the trial will evaluate the performance of this promising prostate cancer vaccine. This powerful technology that stimulates immunity can help treating cancer at a very early stage.
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