The first UK patients have received a “revolutionary” cancer vaccine as part of a global trial.
Scientists are using the mRNA technology behind COVID jabs to create new vaccines that could treat and even cure cancer, according to the British daily, The Telegraph.
The vaccine works by highlighting specific protein markers on the cells of a cancerous tumor to the immune system so that a patient’s own defenses kick in and attack the cancer, which would otherwise go undetected.
The trial is being led by scientists at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust and Imperial College London, which said it was the first in the UK to test the jabs, administering them to British patients at Hammersmith Hospital, in west London.
The study will assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine against lung cancer, skin cancer and other “solid tumors”, researchers said.
Victoria Atkins, the health secretary, said the “ground-breaking development” could make a difference to “countless lives”.
“The vaccine has the potential to save even more lives while revolutionizing the way in which we treat this terrible disease with therapies that are more effective and less toxic,” she said.
“It underlines our position as a life sciences superpower and our commitment to research and development,” she added.
“This research is still in the early stages and may be a number of years from being available to patients, but this trial is laying crucial groundwork that is moving us closer towards new therapies that are potentially less toxic and more precise.”