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Lung cancer vaccine successful in early clinical trials

Published on 25/10/2011

A recent report in the Lancet Oncology has revealed promising results of early clinical trials of a lung cancer vaccine, which could one day be available to patients with private health insurance.

Researchers at the University of Strasbourg trialled the vaccine on 148 patients suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

NSCLC accounts for about 80% of lung cancer cases, and is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In England and Wales, an estimated 31,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year, and more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined annually.

The vaccine, called TG4010, was made up of a pox virus which had been modified to make a ‘cancerous’ surface programme. All the patients were given standard chemotherapy treatment, but half of them were also infected with the virus.

The sixth month ‘progression survival rate’ was 43% for vaccinated patients, and 35% for patients only given chemotherapy. The tumour response was also significantly higher in the vaccinated patients.

However, average survival rate was only marginally higher in vaccinated patients. In addition, at least one serious adverse event was experienced by 52% of patients receiving combination treatment as compared to 47% of patients, who received only chemotherapy.

Prof Peter Johnson Cancer Research UK said: “Further research is needed to see whether the vaccine will actually improve survival for lung cancer patients”.

Patients with private health insurance may have access to cutting edge drugs and treatments too expensive for use on the NHS. Compare health insurance policies online now to gain peace of mind about your future health.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
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