New ovarian cancer drug could give women years of life | Hairless Beauty

New ovarian cancer drug could give women years of life

New ovarian cancer drug could give women years of life in the form of a ‘therapeutic’ vaccine

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9257503/New-ovarian-cancer-drug-women-years-life.html
  • Women with ovarian cancer are to receive a new ‘therapeutic’ vaccine 
  • Canadian company BioVaxys has developed a vaccine for use as a treatment
  • The disease claims more than 4,000 lives a year in UK and has low survival rates

Women who have ovarian cancer are to receive a new vaccine that experts hope could give them years of extra life.

Survival rates for the disease, which claims more than 4,000 lives a year in Britain, are low because it is often only spotted late, when tumours have spread to the rest of the body.

But Canadian company BioVaxys has developed a ‘therapeutic’ vaccine – one to be used as a treatment for those already ill – which it believes could significantly extend lives.

It works by teaching the immune system how to recognise cancerous cells, which are adept at hiding themselves to avoid attack. Each jab is tailored to the individual and uses cancerous cells extracted from the patient’s own tumours after surgery.

While European testing involving up to 100 patients is expected to start towards the end of the year, Dr David Berd, who pioneered the method, said the results from a small-scale trial with a prototype vaccine had been promising.

‘Survival was two to three times what one would expect [in women with advanced ovarian cancer]. There were a couple with five-year survival,’ he added.

Since that study, he said, the vaccine had been improved and the new version would be capable of giving some women ‘years of extra life’.

It works by teaching the immune system how to recognise cancerous cells, which are adept at hiding themselves to avoid attack. Each jab is tailored to the individual and uses cancerous cells extracted from the patient’s own tumours after surgery.

While European testing involving up to 100 patients is expected to start towards the end of the year, Dr David Berd, who pioneered the method, said the results from a small-scale trial with a prototype vaccine had been promising.

‘Survival was two to three times what one would expect [in women with advanced ovarian cancer]. There were a couple with five-year survival,’ he added.

Since that study, he said, the vaccine had been improved and the new version would be capable of giving some women ‘years of extra life’.

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