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New lung cancer immunotherapy, “first-in-human” trial

Cancer Research UK (December 19, 2019)

A new collaboration between the Cancer Research UK and Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT) has developed a new immunotherapeutic vaccine that is set to begin human trials in late 2020. This vaccine treatment is designed to stimulate the immune system by producing cytotoxic T cells, which should in turn, attack and ideally kill cancerous cells.

The trial will use around 80 patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) throughout the United Kingdom and the vaccines will be used alongside current standard care and first line treatment of NSCLC. This trial will aim to indicate if the immunotherapeutic vaccine can create a safe but effective immune response in patients with NSCLC and if the vaccine improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy and/or anti-PD-1 treatments.

Although this is only the first human trial for this new vaccine strategy, the lead researchers at the Cancer Research UK and VOLT are highly optimistic. Dr. Nigel Blackburn, the Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development is particularly excited for the trial, believing that this form of immunotherapy is very promising, could offer a completely new way to treat NSCLC, and ultimately help more people survive lung cancer.

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