Lung cancer vaccine shows promise

A vaccine which triggers the immune system to attack the most common type of lung cancer has shown promise in early clinical trials, say researchers. Tests on 148 patients, reported in the Lancet Oncology, showed that adding the vaccine to chemotherapy slowed the cancer’s progression. However, its effect on overall survival was limited and further trials are now needed.

Vaccines for cancer use the same principles as vaccines against infection – training the body’s own immune system. However, instead of protecting against measles or seasonal flu, these vaccines attack tumours growing in the body. The idea is that when a cell becomes cancerous and divides uncontrollably, its starts to look different. Proteins on the surface of the cells change and the immune system can be trained to spot these changes. Read more…

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