A game-changing cancer vaccine?

Results of the first clinical trial for a new cancer vaccine developed by an Israeli company suggest it could “change the paradigm” of cancer treatment, the head researcher has said.

Dr Lior Carmon, CEO of Vaxil, based near Tel Aviv, said that the results of the phase I trial of the vaccine on 15 cancer patients with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, were very promising.

The first seven patients to complete the trial all had cancers that had recurred. Six months of injections caused the patients’ white blood cells to attack the cancer cells and all had the hoped for strong immune response. Five patients from the first trial are taking part in a follow up trial and none of them currently require any further treatment for cancer.

Dr Carmon said the results were “very convincing… The vaccine is going to change the view of how you treat cancer.” When the cancer is in remission, or is still small, “we can change the course of this disease”.

The technology has a potentially very wide application. The antigen the vaccine works on, MUC1, exists in 90 per cent of cancers. The technique that Vaxil used to target that antigen could be applied to many other conditions, Dr Carmon said.

Last updated: 9:40am, February 6 2013