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NHS patients receive personalised cancer vaccine candidates

A groundbreaking NHS programme to help trial and develop new treatments designed to induce an immune response that aims to prevent cancer from returning has seen its first patient treated in a clinical trial.

The patient received the investigational jab at University Hospitals Birmingham – one of several sites taking part in a colorectal cancer vaccine trial sponsored by BioNTech.

A new NHS England scheme, known as the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad, is intended to make it easier to identify suitable patients from hospitals across the country.

Thousands of patients will be invited to take part in the programme thanks to this pioneering “match-making” service – one of the biggest projects of its kind in the world.  Clinical trials as part of the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad are already underway, and the capacity to onboard additional patients that meet the trial inclusion criteria is expected to rise over the next 2 years.

The personalised vaccine candidates are created by analysing a patient’s tumour to identify mutations that are specific to that one cancer, and using that information to create an investigational immunotherapy treatment personal to that patient.

The investigational vaccine aims to stimulate the immune system to specifically recognise and destroy the cancer cells, preventing cancer from returning after the patient has undergone surgery to remove the primary tumour.

Journalists came to this briefing to hear from the panellists and to ask their questions.


Speakers included:

Prof Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England

Luisa Manning, Senior Medical Director at BioNTech U.S

Prof Robert Jones, Consultant in Medical Oncology, Velindre University NHS Trust

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