New Cancer Vaccine trials are underway

A Hamilton grown cancer vaccine is part of a ground breaking trial that was just announced in Ottawa Friday morning. Several patients have undergone treatment that uses viruses to help the body attack its own cancer cells. Cancer cells don’t always look that different from normal cells, so sometimes the immune system fails to identify them and that is when they can grow out of control. This new therapy primes the immune system to attack the cancer aggressively, without damaging healthy tissue. It’s a promising discovery, especially for patients who have no other options left.

Tumours of potential patients are biopsied at St. Joseph’s hospital for the Mage-A3 protein, which is typically found in melanomas, lung cancers and abdominal cancers. The Mage-A3 protein triggers “attack mode” in the two viruses being used in this trial. Adenovirus was developed at McMaster University; it trains the immune system to go after cancer cells that carry Mage-A3. The second virus in the trial is called Maraba virus which was engineered in Ottawa. It both turns the immune system against cancer cells and attacks the cells itself.

So far, 9 patients have been treated at trial sites in Hamilton, Ottawa and Toronto and none have experienced significant side effects. Each patient is only receiving one of the two viruses to start, but soon doctors will start administering both which will be a world first. About 30% of patients whose tumours have been tested at St.Joe’s carry the Mage-A3 marker. The trial is expected to treat 79 patients in total.


LATEST STORIES


Commenting Guidelines

  • Comments are open for 2 days only after publication of article
  • All comments subject to approval
    • Comments must be constructive and a minimum of 5 words
    • Please do not submit multiple identical comments
    • Personal attacks will not be posted
    • We reserve the right to edit submissions for spelling, grammar, and language
  • CH-CHing! points will be awarded upon submission, however comments will not appear live until they have been approved
  • During the approval process, we reserve the right to withdraw CH-CHing! points awarded to you for comments that do not meet the above guidelines

Comments

EvilTeddyBear says:

Let’s Pray they finally got something to work with even possibly a cure for cancer.

Betty says:

It would be wonderful to find a cure for this terrible disease.

css.php