A doctor of British Indian descent is leading a pioneering global trial for a vaccine aimed at treating early-stage bowel cancer. This collaboration is between the scientists and doctors from the UK and Australia.
The idea for the trial is proposed by Dr. Tony Dhillon, a consultant medical oncologist, who is working at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust. For the last four years, he worked with Professor Tim Price in Australia to develop the vaccine. The trial for the vaccine has been asserted recently, and it will be run by Cancer Research UK Southampton Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Southampton in alliance with Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, and Royal Surrey.
Dr. Dhillon said that this is the first treatment vaccine for any gastrointestinal cancer and we have high hopes that it will be very successful. We believe that for a lot of patients, the cancer will have gone fully after this treatment. This is groundbreaking. I feel as if we are on the edge of something truly big here. The vaccine makes the immune system attack the cancer. It will be life-changing because it implies that potentially, patients may not need to have surgery they may just have the vaccine.
The patients are enrolled in the trial from ten locations, of which six are in Australia and four in the UK, a total of 44 patients are enrolled in the phase -2 trial study over 18 months. The patients will undergo an endoscopy and after that, a tissue sample will be tested to observe if the patients are suitable for the trial. If they are eligible they will be given three doses of the vaccine before the surgery to remove the cancer.
Imugene, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company in Australia, designed the vaccine
The doctor also said that three doses of the vaccine will be given two weeks apart before the surgery to trigger the immune system of the body to attack the cancer. He also said that we assume when patients go for an operation there won't be much cancer left, and with some people, it might go totally. We need to do the trials to confirm that, and that is what we are about to initiate.
Louise Stead, Royal Surrey Foundation Trust Chief Executive said that we are hugely proud to have been involved in the launch of this groundbreaking new vaccine. As the fourth-largest cancer center in the UK, helping to fight cancer is a huge part of what we do, and this will truly provide an opportunity for bowel cancer patients and give them real hope of winning against the disease.
Bowel Cancer, also known as Colorectal Cancer, is the third most common cancer, accounting worldwide an annual incidence of over 1.2 million cases, with a fatality rate of 50 percent.
(Input from various sources)