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A British Indian Doctor Is Set To Conduct A 'Groundbreaking' Cancer Vaccine Trial.


A British Indian doctor is the principal investigator of a “groundbreaking” trial of a vaccine to treat early colon cancer in patients worldwide, following a UK-Australia collaboration between scientists and doctors.

Dr Tony Dhillon, a consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, came up with the idea for the trial and has worked with Professor Tim Price in Australia for the past four years to develop the vaccine.

The trial, announced recently, will be conducted by Cancer Research UK’s Southampton Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Southampton in collaboration with the Royal Surrey and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals in Adelaide, Australia.

“This is the first therapeutic vaccine in any gastrointestinal cancer and we have high hopes that it will be very successful. We think that for many patients the cancer will go away completely after this treatment,” said Dr. Dillon.

“This is groundbreaking. I feel like we’re on the cusp of something really big here. The vaccine makes the immune system go after the cancer. It’s going to be life-changing because maybe patients won’t need surgery – they can just get the vaccine,” he said.

There will be 10 sites for patients – six in Australia and four in the UK, with 44 patients to be enrolled in the study over an 18-month period.

The vaccine is used to treat patients before surgery, hoping that the body will attack the cancer. Any surgery will be minimally invasive. In addition, the strength of the vaccine is expected to support the body’s immune system if the cancer relapses and returns.

“We are very proud to be involved in the launch of this amazing 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 really gives stomach cancer patients a chance and a real hope of beating the disease, said Royal Louise Stead, Chief Executive of Surrey Foundation Trust.

Patients will have an endoscopy, and then a tissue sample will be tested to determine if they qualify for the test. If they are, they will have three doses of the vaccine before surgery to remove the cancer.

The trial is limited to 44 patients worldwide. After the trial is over, the vaccine will be licensed for use or, if successful, a larger study.

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is the third most common cancer, with an annual incidence of more than 1.2 million cases worldwide and a mortality rate of approximately 50 percent.

The vaccine was developed by Imugene Ltd, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)