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New immunotherapy trial launched to test cancer vaccine

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A new and potentially ground-breaking vaccine aimed at enabling the immune system to fight against advanced cancer is being trialled by scientists in London and Guildford, thanks to Government investment in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

All patients with any solid tumour, irrespective of their cancer type or tumour genetic profile, have the potential to benefit from this treatment.

The vaccine works by resembling the natural immune responses generated by the body against bacterial and viral infections. Scientists hope the results will take them one step closer to developing an effective but nontoxic cancer therapy that can be used in clinical practice.

The (VAPER) trial that is taking place at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Guy’s and St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility and the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre. Other centres at the Surrey Cancer Research Institute (SCRI) at the University of Surrey and the Royal Surrey County Hospital are expected to commence patient recruitment later this year.

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said:

This trial is pushing new boundaries for potential cancer treatments, and brings new hope for patients in the fight against cancer. The prospect of a vaccine to help the body’s immune system fight advanced cancer highlights the ground-breaking work being delivered by our world-leading life sciences sector, supported through the Government’s continued investment in the National Institute for Health Research.



The first two patients have already been vaccinated in the trial. Beckenham resident Kelly Potter, 35, a patient of Guy’s Hospital is on the VAPER trial. She was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer in July 2015.


Ms Potter said:

When I read the leaflet about the VAPER trial it struck me that it seemed a bit of breakthrough and that if it worked, it could be a revolution in the treatment of cancer.

To be part of the trial has changed my life for the better. It’s been a very positive experience and really interesting. I feel honoured to be involved. You get the best treatment anyway at Guy’s but it’s fantastic to be part of something that could be ground breaking.


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