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leukemia Treatment With New Trial Vaccine

By Suparna Chakaraborthy

Cancer, the most dangerous disease which still does not have a definite cure, is now being experimented on by the researchers and practitioners of Southampton. They have invented a leukemia vaccine which will be for the first time be put on trial in the UK.

The new leukemia vaccine aims at strengthening the patients immune system and and also enable the body to respond more effectively to the leukemia treatment. The research team who created the leukemia vaccine is being led by Professor Christian Ottensmeier and Dr Katy Rezvani of Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

For the trial of the leukemia vaccine will engage 180 patients and the trial on the leukemia treatment will go on for the next two years. The leukemia treatment is based on a DNA vaccine. This vaccine will be given to the volunteers. This aim of this leukemia vaccine trial is to protect the volunteers against the cancer genes - Wilm's Tumour gene – present in the chronic case of leukemia.

Christian Ottensmeier, professor of experimental cancer medicine at the University of Southampton and consultant oncologist at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, says, “Prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia is currently poor and better leukemia treatments are urgently needed. We have already demonstrated that this new type of DNA vaccine is safe and can successfully activate the immune systems in patients with cancer of the prostate, bowel and lung. We believe it will prove to be beneficial to patients with acute and chronic myeloid leukemia."

Under the Leukemia vaccine trial the volunteer will receive six doses of DNA vaccine for six months along with booster vaccines.

“This new vaccine has the potential to improve the outcome of leukemia treatments and could serve as a method of managing solid tumors. I"m very pleased with the results from the laboratory research, and am optimistic the vaccine will be successful in making a real difference to patients with myeloid leukemia," adds Professor Freda Stevenson, an immunologist at the University of Southampton also working on the study.

Story first published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 16:54 [IST]
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