Bowel cancer: an innovative study using a personalized vaccine against the disease has begun in the UK

Bowel cancer: an innovative study using a personalized vaccine against the disease has begun in the UK

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Pamba Radio Editorial

| June 14, 2024

Professor Elliot Phoebe, 55, was the first person to receive the bowel cancer vaccine in a new study that began in England. The father of four was diagnosed with colorectal cancer after routine screenings. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor and part of his intestine, underwent chemotherapy and is now participating in the clinical study of the new vaccine.

“Participating in this experience is in line with my profession as a teacher and as a community-focused person. I want to positively impact the lives of others and help them achieve their potential,” Phoebe said in a statement.

Thousands of patients are expected to take part in this study with personalized cancer vaccines, in a revolutionary global scheme by the UK's NHS, to save lives. Phebve was vaccinated at University Hospitals Birmingham, which is linked to the NHS, the UK's health service, and is one of 30 hospitals across England to sign up to the cancer vaccine rollout.

The experimental cancer vaccine being evaluated in the colorectal cancer trial is based on mRNA — the same technology used by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 — and is created by analyzing a patient's tumor to identify specific mutations in your tumor. Using this information, doctors create an individualized experimental cancer vaccine.

The process uses genetic material – RNA – from a patient's tumor to develop the vaccine, which is then given to patients through a series of injections in a hospital. In the same way that traditional vaccines use part of the virus to prevent disease, they use harmless proteins found on the surface of cancer cells.

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Chase and kill

When these antigens are introduced into the body, the immune system must stimulate the production of antibodies against them, which then kill the cancer cells. The vaccine then teaches the body how to hunt and kill cancer cells and prevent the disease from coming back.

Unlike conventional vaccines, cancer tumors are individual for each patient, so they must be adapted to each patient. The vaccine used by Phebve is under development by biopharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Genentech, a member of the Roche group.

Research into cancer vaccines is still at an early stage, but trials have already shown that they can be effective in eliminating any cancer cells remaining after surgery and significantly reducing the risk of the disease returning. Information from O Globo.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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